Las Vegas Sands to sell Vegas properties for about $6.25 billion

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Las Vegas Sands Corp is pictured at the Japan IR EXPO in Yokohama, Japan January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

(Reuters) – Las Vegas Sands, founded by late billionaire and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, said on Wednesday it would sell its Vegas properties for about $6.25 billion to focus on Asia, home to the world’s largest gambling hub, Macau.

The sale comes just two months after the death of Adelson, who transformed Las Vegas Sands into the world’s largest casino and filled his gambling hubs with trendy restaurants and shops, making them luxury destinations for business travelers and tourists alike.

The gambling industry, which thrives on air travel and large groups of people in close proximity, has been one of the hardest hit amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Las Vegas Sands said the deal underscores its strategy of reinvesting in its Asian operations, with a focus on Macau and Singapore. Macau and Singapore accounted for 48% and 35% of total revenue in 2020, respectively, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Las Vegas Sands in January named long-time company executive Robert Goldstein chief executive officer, replacing Adelson who died at 87.

Founded in 1990, Las Vegas Sands also owns the world-renowned Marina Bay sands in Singapore and has developed the largest portfolio of properties on the Cotai Strip in Macau.

The properties being sold include the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

Apollo Global Management Inc’s affiliate-managed funds will buy the operating company of the Venetian for $2.25 billion and VICI Properties will buy the land and real estate assets of the Venetian for $4 billion.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands were up 2.8% at $66.77 in premarket trading. The S&P 500 casinos and gaming index has gained 15.2% this year, compared to a 3%% rise in the S&P 500.

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