Vici Properties to sell stock shares to finance Venetian buy

Vici Properties Inc. plans to sell 60 million shares of its common stock to help finance its portion of the $6.25 billion purchase of Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo & Convention Center properties.

The company announced this week that underwriters of the offering also expect to be granted a 30-day option to purchase up to 9 million additional shares of the stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Under terms of the blockbuster deal announced Wednesday, New York-based Vici, a real estate investment trust affiliated with Caesars Entertainment Inc., would pay $4 billion in the transaction and would receive the real estate on which the Strip integrated resort sits. It is partnering with another New York company, Apollo Global Management Inc., to buy the Las Vegas properties in a deal expected to close by the end of the year.

With buying the resort and convention center, proceeds of the stock sale could be used for general business purposes, which may include the acquisition, development and improvement of properties, capital expenditures, working capital and the repayment of indebtedness, Vici said.

The offering is being made pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement.

In a separate matter, a leader of the local Culinary union said she has received calls from workers worried about losing their jobs because of the pending sale.

Sands’ Las Vegas workforce is not unionized.

“The Culinary Union urges the new owners to retain workers at the Las Vegas Sands Expo (and Convention Center) and the Venetian/Palazzo, and offer extended recall rights as business resumes and the economy recovers,” Geoconda Arguello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of Culinary Local 226, said in an emailed statement.

A representative of Vici said Apollo would have oversight on operations. Representatives of Apollo did not return calls and email requests for comment.

Vici shares were down 54 cents, 1.8 percent, to $28.65 a share on volume five times the average Thursday. After hours, shares staged a moderate rebound by increasing 19 cents, 0.7 percent, to end at $28.84 a share.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson, the late chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo & Convention Center.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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