Sheldon Adelson Confirms LVS Are Looking At Acquisition Of Asian Casinos
Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO indicated during a recently held first-quarter earnings conference call with investors that the company may soon expand its interests toward purchasing existing casinos in Asia, but refused to offer any specific details on future plans.
Billionaire Adelson is the largest shareholder of Las Vegas Sands stated that while the company is still pursuing the development of integrated resorts, they have enough funds to acquire Asian casinos should a good opportunity arise.
Las Vegas Sands’ properties in Singapore and Macau are in the midst of expansions worth $5.5 billion; the company is also interested in putting in a bid for an integrated resort in Japan. The company possesses $2.6 billion in cash reserves as March 2020, and they have enough credit to access as much as $4 billion.
Patrick Dumont, the CFO of Las Vegas Sands, seconded Adelson’s statements, saying that the firm is leveraging its massive cash reserves to capitalize on possible acquisition targets in key markets. Dumont stated that the company is simply keeping an open mind—if an existing high-quality casino is available in a market the Sands want to enter, purchasing that casino may be a better option that trying to build a new property.
Gaming Analysts Agree with Sands’ Move
Gaming analysts said that Las Vegas Sands’ move toward possible acquisitions from its long history as a developer of integrated resorts could be an exciting new time for the firm.
Steven Wieczynski, from Stifel Financing, said that the company’s balance sheet is strong enough to handle such pursuits, adding that their cash reserves could be an advantage in a time when many competitors are desperately seeking liquidity.
Carlo Santarelli, from Deutsche Bank, expects that, if Las Vegas Sands acquires a casino in Asia, it will likely be a massive casino that will advance the company’s overall strategy. Las Vegas Sands shares continued to go up this week on the New York Stock Exchange.
Sands Still Recovering from COVID-19 Setbacks
The Palazzo and Venetian properties on the Las Vegas Strip were closed on March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The iconic Marina Bay Sands resort located in Singapore, closed in early April due to the same concerns.
Las Vegas Sands’ daily expenses for their properties are around $12 million—including salaries and benefits for furloughed workers. The firm has since delayed its quarterly dividend payment to 2021, which is expected to bring $3 billion in funds. Their Macau properties have also been impacted by COVID-19; they were closed for 15 days, which limited the revenues derived from the Chinese New Year, traditionally the most lucrative time for Macau casinos.