wo Wall Street investment banks have sent representatives to meet with officials from MGM Grand Paradise, operator of the MGM Grand Macau, to discuss the flotation, the South China Morning Post said in an unsourced report.
MGM Grand Paradise is a 50/50 joint venture between MGM Mirage and Pansy Ho, daughter of Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho.
The IPO process was still in the early stages and no pitches had been requested from the Macau group, but the financiers reportedly believe the second stage of the process, in which a short-list of bankers will be drawn up, will happen after the Chinese New Year festival in mid February, the report said.
Research by a gambling analyst for Oppenheimer was cited in the newspaper report as estimating the venture could be valued at up to us$ 5 billion, and that the value of the share sale would be about us$ 1 billion.
The group would be the last of Macau's six main casino operators to list shares in Hong Kong.
MGM's tie-up with Ho has reportedly come under fire back in the US. Last May, gambling regulators in New Jersey concluded a four-year investigation into the joint venture, saying the partnership was unsuitable for MGM, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, which didn't elaborate on the reasons for the finding.
The regulator also reportedly recommended MGM should "disengage" itself from any business association with Ho.