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Adelson to sell $2bn in Sands stock to buy stake in Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks

| By Robert Fletcher
Miriam Adelson, the widow of Las Vegas Sands founder Sheldon Adelson, is selling $2.00bn (£1.57bn/€1.82bn) of stock in the business to help fund the purchase of a majority interest in the Dallas Mavericks, currently owned by Mark Cuban.
Sands Miriam Adelson

The sale represents approximately 10% of Adelson’s total holding in Sands. Some 41,186,161 shares will be made available at $48.56 each, the closing price of Sands’ common shares on 27 November.

At present, the Adelson family holds 427,894,129 shares in Sands, approximately 56.4% of the business. The sale would reduce this to around 46.0% although the Adelson family would keep its majority holding.

The sale will comprise 6,480,883 shares from those personally owned by Adelson and 34,705,279 owned by the Miriam Adelson Trust. Adelson will retain 386,707,968 of Sands shares but the trust will sell its entire holding in the offering.

Sands also expects to repurchase up to $250.0m of shares at the same price as the assumed public offering price. The share repurchase is due to expire on 3 November 2025.

Adelson has eyes on the sports franchise prize

Sands confirmed it would not receive any proceeds from the sale. Instead, Adelson intends to use monies to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise. This would be in attention to cash on hand.

Details of the sports franchise in question, including the country or league in which it plays, was not stated in the press release.

However, reports in the media suggest Adelson is seeking to acquire a stake in NBA basketball team the Dallas Mavericks for around $3.50bn.

The Dallas Mavericks have been owned by American billionaire businessman, investor and television personality Mark Cuban for the past 22 years.

As reported by The Athletic, the Mavericks are currently valued at “roughly”  $3.5 billion in the sale, and that Adelson would get a majority stake in the team.

Sands went as far as saying any deal remains subject to a binding purchase agreement and customary league approvals.

In a rare twist, it is also alleged that Cuban will keep a minority stake in the team and “full control of basketball operations”.

Adelson has been employed by Sands as a co-founder and special advisor since February 2021, a month after her late husband passed. Prior to this, she was director of community involvement between August 1990 and February 2021.

Sands pays tribute to founder Adelson

Sheldon Adelson passed away in January 2021 at the age of 87 from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He announced he was receiving treatment in March 2019. In the week prior to his passing, Adelson said he was taking a leave of absence after resuming treatment.

This saw president and chief operating officer Robert Goldstein take over as chairman and CEO on an interim basis. Goldstein remains in both roles almost three years later.

Adelson founded Las Vegas Sands in 1988, having led a group of investors that purchased Las Vegas’ Sands Casino property. This was demolished and replaced by the Venetian in 1996, while the adjoining Palazzo also opened in 2007.

Further afield, Adelson proved to be a pioneer in Asia, after Macau opened its doors to legal gambling at the turn of the millennium. Sands won one of three inaugural concessions to operate gambling and constructed its first venue, Sands Macau, in 2004. Several other resorts followed including the Venetian Macau and Sands Cotai Central.

In 2010, the business expanded into Singapore, with the opening of Marina Bay Sands. It also entered Pennsylvania with Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in 2009 and was later sold to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in 2019.

Forbes estimated Adelson’s net worth at $35.8bn in November 2020. In 2007, and again in 2014, the magazine listed him among the 10 richest people on earth.

Asian rebound drives revenue up 178.1% in Q1 at Sands

The share sale comes after Sands last month published its results for a positive Q3. During the period, revenue increased 178.1% to $2.80bn as Sands continued to feel the impact of Covid-19 restrictions being dropped in Macao and Singapore.

Macao remains Sands’ core market with revenue jumping 592.4% to $1.79bn. Meanwhile, revenue at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore also increased by 34.3% to $1.02bn.

This growth meant Sands ended Q3 with a net profit of $380m, compared to a $239m loss last year. In addition, adjusted property EBITDA hiked 487.4% from $191m to $1.12bn.

The year-to-date data also made for positive reading, with revenue up 149.5% to $7.46bn in the nine months to September. Net profit fell 58.1% to $839m as the previous year included $2.90bn income from discontinued operations. However, adjusted EBITDA rocketed 466.1% to $2.89bn.

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