Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) announced Wednesday morning that it had sold its real property and operations in Las Vegas, including the Venetian resort and the Sands Expo center, to funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management Inc. (NYSE: APO) for $6.25 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, Apollo will acquire the Sands’ Las Vegas business’ operating assets and liabilities for $1.05 billion in cash and $1.2 billion in seller financing, and VICI Properties, a real estate investment trust (REIT) and an affiliate of Apollo, will acquire the real estate and related assets of the Sands’ Las Vegas business for approximately $4 billion in cash.
The sale of the Venetian will be “bittersweet” according to Sands’ executives who noted that the property “helped establish [the late] Sheldon Adelson and his company at the top of the gaming industry.”
Sands Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Robert Goldstein commented further: “This company is focused on growth, and we see meaningful opportunities on a variety of fronts. Asia remains the backbone of this company and our developments in Macao and Singapore are the center of our attention.”
President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Dumont added: “Our long-held strategy of reinvesting in our Asian operations and returning capital to our shareholders will be enhanced through this transaction. Additionally, as our industry continues to evolve, particularly as it relates to the digital marketplace, we are committed to exploring those possibilities.”
Last year was not a good one for the Sands or Macau. According to data from Macau’s gaming commission, gross revenue from gaming declined in every month last year in a range between 11.3% in January and 97% in June. Last month was the first time in 17 months that gross revenue increased year over year.
Sands revenue fell by nearly 74% year over year in 2020, and the net loss per share totaled $2.21.
Shares of Las Vegas Sands traded up about 3% in Wednesday’s premarket session, at $66.84 in a 52-week range of $33.30 to $65.20. The high was posted Tuesday. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $61.77. The company suspended its $0.79 per share dividend after the first quarter of 2020.
Apollo Global shares were inactive, after closing down less than 1% on Tuesday to $49.93, in a 52-week range of $19.46 to $55.39. The consensus price target is $56.08, and the firm pays a dividend yield of 4.81%.
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