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Deyan Dimitrov December 6, 2023 3 min read
Las Vegas Sands Corp Increases Stake in Sands China Ltd Amidst Market Downturn
The company is counting on the continued resurgence in the Chinese market as Macau exits its long post-pandemic recovery period
Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) is strategically adjusting its position to boost its holdings in its Macau subsidiary, Sands China Ltd. A Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing revealed that the company’s controlling shareholder, LVS, intends to engage in a share purchase transaction with an undisclosed financial institution. Sands China hopes for enduring success in the region, relying on its uniquely themed integrated resorts.
The Move Reflects Shifting Priorities
This newest transaction involves purchasing up to HKD 1.95 billion ($249.67 million) in Sands China shares, equivalent to 96,600,247 shares, 1.19% of the total issued shares. LVS currently holds a 70% stake in Sands China. Venetian Venture Development Intermediate II, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of LVS and Sands China’s immediate controlling shareholder, will facilitate this transaction.
Las Vegas Sands Corp had previously indicated an intention to increase its stake in Sands China following its early 2022 sale of its Las Vegas assets for $6.25 billion. Despite rising revenues in profitability for Sands China in recent quarters, the company’s gaming stocks have marked a decline, prompting its parent company to fortify its position.
Investment bank JP Morgan noted that the transaction should have long-term benefits for Sands China, improving investor confidence by demonstrating a robust commitment from management. The bank also emphasized that the planned $250 million investment represented a considerable commitment of roughly 6.5 days’ worth of Sands China’s trading value, underscoring the region’s importance.
Investing in the Region Can Pay Substantial Dividends
Despite its slow recovery, Macau remains one of the leading Asian gambling destinations. Recent data revealed that local gambling operators recorded a GGR of almost $2 billion last month, marking a stellar 435% year-on-year increase. While this figure is still behind October 2023’s result, the November data demonstrates that the region is rebounding.
Sands China is at the forefront of this recovery, leveraging its high-profile casino resorts to attract tourists from abroad and mainland China. The $2 billion Londoner Macao perfectly demonstrates the company’s novel approach, leveraging its unique aesthetic to engage visitors and cater to a broad demographic. The newly pledged support should ensure that such projects remain profitable and can drive sustained growth.
This strategic investment by Las Vegas Sands Corp underscores its long-term commitment to Sands China Ltd and its confidence in the Macau gaming industry despite rising macroeconomic challenges and uncertain market conditions. Las Vegas Sands’ increased stake should help it maintain its leadership position and benefit from an eventual resurgence.