New York (CNN Business)Las Vegas Sands, operated by GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, is reportedly exploring a sale for its upscale Las Vegas resorts, marking Adelson’s exit from the turbulent US gambling industry.
The company operates the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas strip, plus the Sands Expo Convention Center. A deal to sell all three could rake in as much as $6 billion, leaving the company to focus on its glitzy properties in Singapore and Macau, according to multiple news reports.
Sands’ US properties accounted for just over 13% of its revenue last year. The company confirmed to several outlets that it’s in “very early discussions” about a possible sale.
Sands didn’t immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment. Bloomberg first reported the shakeup late Tuesday.
Shares of Sands (LVS) jumped more than 3% in premarket trading. The stock is down 30% for the year, shadowing similar losses from other gaming rivals that have been hit hard from the tourism downturn sparked by coronavirus.
Sands reported a revenue drop of 82% in its third-quarter earnings last week. Adelson said that the “recovery process from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to progress in each of our markets.”
Las Vegas has reopened, but with few conventions, total visitor volume has dropped nearly 60% in August compared to the same month a year ago, according to the city’s tourism department.
In August, MGM Resorts (MGM) laid off roughly a quarter of its workforce amounting to 18,000 employees. Last year, it offloaded a few properties, including Circus Circus and Bellagio, to private-equity firm in a lease buyback deal valued at about $5 billion.
Adelson is a friend of President Donald Trump, who also owns a resort in Las Vegas. Trump gave Adelson’s wife Miriam a Presidential Medal of Freedom award in 2018 for establishing research centers committed to fighting substance abuse.
The family also regularly donates money to Trump and Republican politicians. The couple recently poured $75 million into a super PAC launched in late August to aid Trump’s reelection. They also backed the president’s initial run in 2016.
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