The news that Las Vegas Sands (LVS) Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson is undergoing treatment for cancer should come as no surprise and is no reason for investor alarm, according to brokerage Sanford C Bernstein.
LVS confirmed reports of Adelson’s ill-health last Friday, revealing in a company announcement that the 85-year-old is “dealing with certain side effects from the medication he is taking for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
While that news quickly made international headlines, Bernstein analysts Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Eunice Lee have been quick to play down any potential negative impacts on one of the world’s biggest gaming companies, noting that both LVS and its Macau subsidiary Sands China “both have strong management teams and there is an internal succession contingency in place in the event of Mr Adelson’s inability to perform his duties as Chairman and CEO.”
Bernstein pointed to a leadership team that includes long-term COO Rob Goldstein, Adelson’s son-in-law and CFO Patrick Dumont, Sands China President Wilfred Wong and George Tanasijevich – who heads up both global development for LVS as well as Singapore IR Marina Bay Sands – as the “key members of the organization are fully integrated into the succession plan.”
“Should Mr. Adelson’s health situation worsen, we do not believe it would have negative implications with respect to any of Sands’ existing operations (whether it be in the US, Macau or Singapore),” the analysts added. “Nor should Mr. Adelson’s potential absence impact LVS chances in any potential Japan IR bid.
“Further, the Adelson family currently holds a 51.3% controlling interest in LVS. In the event of Mr Adelson’s death, we believe an appropriate estate structure has been long in place to ensure continued Adelson family control of the company. We do not see any risk of material share divestitures in the future.”