Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp. says the US casino operator needs about $2 billion to complete five separate hotel projects in Macau. These projects were put on hold temporarily due to the state of the economy.
There are some assets in Macau that the company is considering selling. These include condos and shopping malls. But the economy has made finding financing hard. Even finding buyers for the assets one has to sell has become increasingly difficult. This is making debt payments a burden.
The company is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of Macau assets on the Hong Kong stock exchange. They are also talking to investors, banks, and construction companies about equity and financing. They hope to raise the capital by September and have the projects restarted by the end of the year.
Marina Bay Sands project, a $5 billion resort, was supposed to open toward the end of the year, but even that has been put on hold. There is even some talk that the retail operations at Marina Bay could be sold to pay of the mortgage on the development.
Mr. Adelson says Las Vegas Sands practice is to sell noncore assets to pay for financing while others have to pay for financing through operations because they don’t build.
The Singapore resort-casino complex that Las Vegas Sands is developing is expected to open early in 2010.
In November, Sands was forced to stop construction on several projects. Hundreds of employees were laid off and $2.1 billion was raised though a stock offering.