MGM Resorts has completed the sale of iconic Las Vegas property Bellagio in a US$4.25 billion deal with Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust.
The company issued a press release overnight in which it confirmed that the related transactions had been closed last Friday 15 November, with MGM paid a cash consideration of US$4.2 billion. It will also hold a 5% equity stake in a new joint venture company formed with Blackstone, which will in turn lease back operations of Bellagio to MGM for initial rent of US$245 million per annum.
The sale-leaseback deal is one of a number of transactions either already undertaken or being considered by MGM as part of its new “asset-light” policy aimed at reducing debt and freeing up cash for new investment opportunities, including the development of an integrated resort in Japan and expanded involvement in the growing US sports betting industry.
The company recently sold another of its Las Vegas Strip casinos, Circus Circus, for US$825 million.
MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren previously said the sale of Bellagio “confirms the premium value of our owned real estate assets, highlights the unique value of Bellagio as a premier asset in gaming and solidifies our status as a premier operator of gaming and entertainment properties.”