Las Vegas Sands gets OK on apartment-hotel sales

Oct 23, 2008 9:29 PM

by Staff & wire reports |

Las Vegas Sands Corp. said Wednesday that the Asian gaming enclave of Macau has approved the legal separation of its Four Seasons apartment hotel tower from the rest of the parcel, clearing the way for the sale of cooperative interests in the units. The hotel and casino operator, which operates The Venetian resorts in Las Vegas and Macau, said the apartment hotel will be transferred to a separate cooperative holding company.

Las Vegas Sands Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson said sales of the coop units and revenue from the site's luxury mall would lower the company's debt burden or provide funding for future projects.

Analysts have said that the company is seeking to refinance $3.3 billion of debt and raise $2 billion for its projects in Macau.

While the $3.3 billion refinancing can be put on hold -- it matures in 2011 to 2013 -- the $2 billion is needed to complete the Cotai development in Macau next year.

Adelson said the company has reservations for 65 units, or 22 percent of the Four Seasons apartment-hotel, at an average price of over $1,700 per square foot. Two-thirds of the reservations came from buyers living outside of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. 

Reservations are not binding, with deposits fully refundable pending completion of the tower's final documentation as a cooperative.

Shares of Las Vegas-based Las Vegas Sands rose 44 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $12.87 in morning trading.

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