he legal separation of the property will allow the company to transfer the apartment hotel building into a separate cooperative holding company and to sell cooperative interests in the tower in a manner similar to the way apartment units are sold in New York City and other international locations. In addition, the approval from the Macao government clears the way for the company to monetize the cash flow generated by The Shoppes at Four Seasons, its 18,580 sqm luxury retail mall, which is also located on the Four Seasons parcel.
"The company’s strategic business plan has always anticipated the sale of apartments in either the condominium or cooperative form of ownership, as well as the monetization of the cash flow from our retail malls, to de-leverage our balance sheet or to provide the additional funding required to build our future developments," said Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. "I am very pleased that we have gotten through this process and look forward to executing on this monetization strategy in accordance with our business plan."
Adelson added that in anticipation of this government approval, the company began taking reservations several weeks ago from its waiting list and has now accepted reservations for nearly 22 % (representing 65 units) of the project at prices averaging over us$ 1,700 per square foot. He also noted that approximately two-thirds of the reservations have come from buyers who reside outside of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao.
The reservations for units in the apartment hotel are non-binding and the related deposits are fully refundable pending the completion of the apartment hotel tower’s final cooperative documentation.
Adelson added, "While we acknowledge that the current financing environment is less than ideal, we believe the uniqueness of the product, together with its premier location and its Four Seasons branding and service, will incentivize the premium buyer that is able to remain active in any market environment."
He said vacation units like the Four Seasons represent another important component of the company’s Cotai Strip offering, which also features expansive shopping malls, state-of-the-art meeting and convention facilities, premium hotel product, and world-class entertainment like Cirque du Soleil.