International edition
October 28, 2021

It is offering 760 million shares for sale with its Hong Kong listing set for June 3

MGM China prices IPO at top end of range

(Hong Kong).- Macau casino MGM China Holdings has priced shares in its us$ 1.5 billion initial public offering at the top end of their expected range, reflecting optimism over the world's biggest gambling hub. The firm said the stock would be sold at us$ 1.97 per share, according to company documents filed to Hong Kong's stock exchange Friday.

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GM China, a tie-up between Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International and Pansy Ho, a daughter of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, is offering 760 million shares for sale with its Hong Kong listing set for June 3, the documents said.

Macau, a former Portuguese colony that has been transformed into a gaming haven, has become key profit source for several US companies operating in the city, the only place in China that allows casino gambling.

The territory raked in a whopping us$ 23.5 billion in gaming revenue last year, outpacing the Las Vegas strip by at least four-fold, with the city's April revenue figures showing a nearly 45 percent year-on-year increase.

MGM's high-end pricing may be partly due to the firm luring several high-profile cornerstone investors to buy into the share sale, including US hedge fund giant John Paulson and gaming billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. Paulson made billions of dollars after being one of the few investors to predict the collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market in 2007 that led to the global financial crisis.

Cornerstone investors are given the option to buy vast portions of stock in an IPO if they agree to hold the shares for a certain length of time. MGM will have a 51 % stake - and management control - in the listed joint venture.

New Jersey gaming regulators, in a report released last year, told MGM Resorts to cut its business ties with Pansy Ho after deeming her "unsuitable" because of her father's alleged organised crime links, or risk losing its state gaming license. The elder Ho has long denied rumours he allowed Macau's notorious triads to operate in his casinos.

In response, MGM said it would instead leave New Jersey by selling a 50 percent stake in an Atlantic City casino-resort so it could keep its casino-hotel in Macau. In March, the 89-year-old tycoon said he had ended a bitter legal feud with family members - including Pansy Ho - whom he accused of trying to steal his vast gambling empire and a fortune worth at least us$ 3.1 billion.

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