Las Vegas Sands sells the Venetian, Sands Expo for $6.25B

Las Vegas Sands is selling the Venetian casino resort and Sands Expo and Convention Center for $6.25 billion.

In the two-part deal, VICI Properties will buy the property and all assets associated with the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo for $4 billion. Apollo Global Management will acquire the operations of the Venetian for $2.25 billion.

The global pandemic broadsided Las Vegas, shuttering the Strip where Las Vegas Sands is the biggest operator. Sales growth vanished last March as infections spread across the U.S. The company posted a quarterly loss of almost $300 million in January.

The sale comes just two months after the death of CEO and Chairman Sheldon Adelson, who transformed the landmark Las Vegas casino that was once a hangout of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack into a towering Italian-inspired complex.

Adelson, however, for years had pushed hard into Asia. Sands under Adelson expanded to Macao, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, where he directed his company to build land where there wasn’t any, piling sand up to create the Cotai Peninsula. Soon revenue in Macao outstripped that from Las Vegas.

Sands said Wednesday that Asia is where the company’s focus will remain.

“This company is focused on growth, and we see meaningful opportunities on a variety of fronts,” said Chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein. “Asia remains the backbone of this company and our developments in Macao and Singapore are the center of our attention.”

VICI will enter a triple-net lease agreement with Apollo for the Venetian. The lease will have an initial total annual rent of $250 million and an initial term of 30 years, with two 10-year tenant renewal options.

The Venetian, located on the Las Vegas Strip, has three luxury hotel towers with gaming, entertainment, shopping and dining. The resort includes more than 7,000 all-suite rooms, 225,000 square feet of gaming space and 2.3 million square feet of meeting space.

Travel related companies, from airlines, to hotels and resorts, are roaring back with the rollout of a slew of new vaccines.

Apollo Partner Alex van Hoek said in a prepared statement that the deal “underscores our conviction in a strong recovery for Las Vegas as vaccines usher in a reopening of leisure and travel in the United States and across the world.”

The sale is expected to close by the fourth quarter.

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