Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo Sold for $6.25 Billion

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has sold Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo and Convention Center for $6.25 billion.

The buyers are Apollo Global Management and Vici Properties.

Venetian Las Vegas gondola

“Iconic” gets thrown around a lot, but we can’t think of a better way to describe Venetian.

The sale follows the recent death of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

With this sale, Las Vegas Sands is effectively out of the casino business in Las Vegas.

In layperson’s terms: “Just wow.” Or possibly, “Just wow, bro.” Take your pick.

Las Vegas Sands will now turn its attention to Asia, where the company derives most of its revenue.

Venetian and Palazzo will keep their names.

Rumors about a Venetian sale have been swirling since Oct. 2020, including those related to who the potential buyer could be. We should know, we swirled a good number of them.

Venetian sale

Sharing news first is like gambling. You only share the winners.

The ultimate winner of quest to acquire Venetian and Palazzo went to Apollo and Vici, and this was no “everything must go” sale. The price tag was $6.5 billion, or 13x pre-pandemic EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization), which industry experts agree was a strong vote of confidence about a Las Vegas rebound, especially in the area of conventions.

In the deal, Vici gets the resort for $4 billion. Apollo gets the operations of the Venetian for $2.25 billion.

This kind of deal has become common in Las Vegas, and is not unlike the joint venture between MGM Growth Properties and Blackstone. MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and others have a similar ownership/management arrangement.

Apollo will pay $250 million a year in rent to Vici.

Venetian

Inny.

Apollo and Vici are familiar entities to Vegas watchers.

Private equity firms Apollo and TPG Capital owned Caesars Entertainment for a decade. Let’s just say it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

Among the highlights: Creditors claimed Apollo and TPG stripped Caesars of billions of dollars of assets prior to the casino company filing for Chapter 11 in January 2015. Read more about the glorious drama.

Vici Properties is a real estate investment trust, a spin-off of Caesars Entertainment. At last count, Vici owns 28 casinos. Those casinos include Caesars Palace and Harrah’s, as well as many other much less interesting casinos because, well, they aren’t in Las Vegas.

The Dorsey Venetian

This is the waitstaff at The Dorsey. It’s at Venetian, so it’s totally relevant to this story.

All the confounding financial aspects aside, the real question is: How will this affect your next visit to Venetian and Palazzo?

The answer: It probably won’t.

We could’ve just said that earlier, but this story would only be two paragraphs long and you’d just end up getting into trouble with all that additional free time. You’re welcome.

The focus for Apollo and Vici will be conventions, as was the case with Las Vegas Sands.

While convention business took a massive hit during the pandemic, Apollo and Vici are positioned to take advantage of what’s expected to be a convention boom in the months to come. Las Vegas Sands was less optimistic about how quickly conventions will return, but a lot of hopes are resting upon midweek business coming back stronger than ever as the pandemic recedes.

Sands Expo Las Vegas

The Sands Expo was built in 1990. The Venetian sits on the site of the former Sands Hotel.

It’s surreal to think about the Las Vegas Strip without Sheldon Adelson and Las Vegas Sands.

The Las Vegas Sands headquarters is expected to stay in Las Vegas, but Venetian and Palazzo being sold is a symbolic end of an era.

Venetian and Palazzo are two of our favorite Las Vegas casinos, for their sheer beauty, variety of restaurants and bars, as well as their outstanding service levels.

Here’s hoping Apollo and Vici will continue to keep Venetian and Palazzo the extraordinary destinations they are.

First item of business. Fix this wrap! Long story.

Venetian torn wrap

There was hope Venetian might finish St. Regis tower. Now, not so much.

While the sale of Venetian and Palazzo made headlines, it’s worth noting the Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by Sheldon Adelson’s News + Media Capital Group, seems likely to change hands soon as well.

Whoever said “May you live in interesting times” wasn’t kidding.

13 thoughts on “Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo Sold for $6.25 Billion

  1. Michael Alexakis

    Sometimes after you painstakingly study and handicap a horse race, you get shocked by the odds board when big ass money gets on a horse you do not feel deserves it. Big ass money is getting on Las Vegas, suddenly casino management is getting it’s own category, vulture capitalists are actively circulating… Room rates for the months ahead are jacked up. When big ass money talks, it merits a listen. Even the Las Vegas housing market is solid. “Corporations are people my friend”, and they are whispering sweetness into our ears…

    Reply
    1. project design

      Thanks Michael..
      Astute observation…..yes, follow the money. They know something we don’t know……such as, in order for Vegas to prosper, international and domestic flights need to fire up and people need to relinquish fear of travel<~~very tall order!

      Reply
  2. Jeff in OKC

    As Scott said, I don’t think anything changes for us at the street level. Investors bought a money making business, and want it to keep making them money. That means the employees keep their jobs and the resorts keep their names.

    As consumers, we rarely wonder about who owns NBC television, USA Today or Pizza Hut, to name a few. We just know it is there and operating. Ideally this is more of the same.

    Reply
  3. Michael Alexakis

    I highly doubt the new owners are going to just fold in the workers and honor the seniority they have accrued, private equity just does not operate that way. I bet all the employee’s will have to re-apply for their old jobs, and take some hits unfortunately. Go ahead and prove me wrong Apollo Vichy Creed, I would love to be called a naysayer on this…

    Reply
    1. JeffinOKC

      The mainest reason I think they will keep employees in much the same shape is that this deal was essentially done before Sheldon Adelson died, and he appeared to be (become) pretty “George” to his workers the last couple years of his life. I’m guessing he looked out for his workers as part of any sale. Also, LV Sands carried $1.2 billion of the $2.2 billion sale price on a term loan.

      Reply
      1. Michael Alexakis

        Of course I hope you are correct Jeff, but Apollo is related to Caesars, and Caesars is cutting faster than Edward Scissorhands… When William Hill took over the Caesars sportsbooks they made the employee’s re-apply to get their jobs back. Unfortunately this reminds me of the famous riddle: Why do dogs lick their own balls? Because they can…

        Reply
  4. Chuck M

    We are closer to the end of the pandemic than we are to the beginning. Isnt that what all this Vegas optimism is based on? Want to get set to make profits BEFORE everyone gets the all clear, jumps on planes and goes Vegas nuts?

    Reply
  5. Pal

    It won’t affect my next visit because there won’t be one. That walk from the rooms to the strip is ridiculously exhausting.

    Reply

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