Las Vegas Sands is selling Las Vegas. The price: $ 6.25 billion.
Vici Properties announced Wednesday that it is paying $ 4 billion for the properties – the Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Expo Convention Center. Apollo Global Management will buy the business for $ 2.25 billion, roughly half of which will be funded by Sands.
The sale comes as Las Vegas Sands doubles its investment in Asia. Prior to the pandemic, Sands properties in Asia represented around 90% of sales, with significant investments planned in Macau and Singapore.
“This company is focused on growth and we see significant opportunities on several fronts. Asia remains the backbone of this company and our developments in Macau and Singapore are the focus of our attention,” said Chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein in a statement.
In Las Vegas, the bottom line was fueled by conventions that were decimated by the coronavirus shutdown and the steep decline in corporate travel and group business. In a recent earnings call, Goldstein said there is no way for Sands to hit $ 500 million in EBITDA without fully returning to conferences.
Goldstein’s predecessor, founder Sheldon Adelson, had been involved in talks about a possible sale. The last of the Las Vegas casino moguls to die in January had made it clear on earnings calls and executives that his focus and business growth hopes were centered on Asia.
However, the sale of the Las Vegas properties marks the end of an era, but may not mark the end of Sands’ operations in the United States. While the company will keep its headquarters in Nevada, it will turn its attention to the so-called gaming superstates: New York and Texas.
Sands is strongly advocating a license for a downstate casino to build an integrated resort in New York City. Metropolitan expanded gaming is a market valued at $ 6 billion to $ 10 billion in gaming revenue alone.
Texas is still in the early stages of legalization, but the market is extremely attractive because of its population and lack of competition.
Sands also turns away from Adelson’s long and notable opposition to online gaming and begins exploring opportunities for sports betting and other digital gambling options.
It is currently planned that the Venetian’s management team will continue to operate the Las Vegas properties once the contract with Apollo is concluded.