ands won preliminary approval from Hong Kong regulators last week to move ahead with its IPO. According to deal terms e-mailed to investors and obtained by The Associated Press, Sands plans to use proceeds from selling a stake in its Macau business to pay down its heavy debt load, estimated at nearly us$ 11.8 billion as of September 30.
The fresh capital will also go toward resuming work on multibillion dollar casino resorts in the Chinese gambling city of Macau, the world's largest casino market. The projects - including a Shangri-La/Traders hotel, a Sheraton hotel and three casinos along two neighboring sites - were suspended last fall as the company struggled with a cash crunch. The move threw as many as 11,000 out of work.
Sands' new shares are expected to begin trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange Nov. 30, with the price of the shares to be determined around November 19, according to the IPO's terms.
It will mark the second Hong Kong IPO from an American casino operator. Shares in the Macau resorts of billionaire Steve Wynn, rival of Sand's founder Sheldon Adelson, debuted last month after a us$ 1.63 billion IPO.
Macau, located about an hour's ferry ride from Hong Kong, is the one place in China where gambling is legal.