he Las Vegas-based company may ask lenders to amend and extend loans late this year, Leven said. The firm may offer to repay a portion of the debt, pay fees and negotiate a new interest rate in exchange for the modifications, he said. There were about 130 lenders in the company’s original loan group, Leven said.
“I think we can get to a majority with a reasonable deal,” Leven said. “We don’t have to do it right away, it’s easy for us to watch the deals that are being done.”
Las Vegas Sands had us$ 11 billion in long term debt as of December 31, with an average weighted interest rate of 4 %, Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Kay said last week on a conference call. The company has loans for its ventures in Las Vegas, Singapore and Macau, China.
The company plans to wait until after it opens the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore, beginning on April 27, before negotiating with lenders, Leven said.
Billionaire founder and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson has projected the us$ 5.5 billion resort will add more than $1 billion in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
“If Singapore opens well, our leverage gets much better,” Leven said. “Our interest rate carries pretty low at this time in both Macau and in the US, so there’s no rush to do it.”
Las Vegas Sands is among the casino operators working to push out maturities and reduce debt after a record two-year slump on the Las Vegas Strip eroded earnings and put some companies at risk of violating the terms of their credit agreements.
MGM Mirage, the biggest casino owner on the Las Vegas Strip, asked lenders to agree by today to extend most of its $5.55 billion of senior credit facilities in exchange for a higher interest rate, fees and repayment of part of the debt. Wynn Resorts Ltd., the casino company controlled by Stephen Wynn, in September amended a credit agreement allowing it to sell bonds and repay loans.
Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., the world’s biggest casino company, reduced its debt by $4.2 billion and extended some maturities through a series of exchange offers and other refinancing activity last year.