International edition
September 19, 2021

Macau has been hit hard by the global financial crisis

Las Vegas Sands eyeing HK IPO for Macau unit-source

(Macau).- Debt-burdened US casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp has hired Goldman Sachs to look at a potential Hong Kong listing for its Macau unit. The hiring comes as Sands this week said it would cut 4,000 jobs, or about 20 % of its workforce, in Macau, where the company operates the world's largest casino.

M

acau has been hit hard by the global financial crisis. Sands halted expansion into a new project in Macau late last year as it had struggled to secure funding of between us$ 1.5 billion and us$ 2 billion to complete the development, although it had previously expressed hope that it would find new investors and resume construction.

Las Vegas-based Sands already operates two casinos in the enclave: the Venetian Macao - the world's largest casino resort - and the Sands Macao. "They are considering (the IPO), but nothing is confirmed until they file for it, and it hasn't happened yet," said the source.

The source declined to be identified because the information has not yet been made public. Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Las Vegas Sands was not immediately reachable.

Casino operators in Macau have been hit hard by a supply glut and heightened competition sparked when the enclave was booming, as well as visa restrictions on mainland Chinese visitors, who had been a major source of business.

The hiring of Goldman for a potential Hong Kong IPO - first reported by Euroweek - comes after the company last week said its first-quarter net loss had widened from a year earlier as the recession also kept gamblers and tourists at bay at its casinos in Las Vegas. Sands operates the Palazzo and Venetian resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

US casino operators have been hit hard by the slump in Las Vegas. Although there are signs that the results are bottoming out, analysts warn that a coming wave of new resorts may hinger any rebound in hotel rates or casino revenue.

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