MGM Resorts Agrees to Sell MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay

  • Largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip agrees $4.6 billion deal for both properties
  • Joint venture includes private equity and real estate giant Blackstone Group
  • MGM Resorts will enter a long-term lease agreement to continue operating these facilities
MGM Grand Las Vegas
MGM Resorts has agreed to sell the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay to a joint venture that includes private-equity and real-estate giant Blackstone Group. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Deal values properties at $4.6 billion

MGM Resorts has announced that it is selling its MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay properties on the Las Vegas Strip in a deal worth $4.6 billion.

The properties are being sold to a joint venture that includes New York-based Blackstone Group. The real estate giant will be partnering with an MGM Resorts affiliate as part of this deal.

sold to a joint venture that includes New York-based Blackstone Group

It was in October that Blackstone purchased the Bellagio Hotel and Casino from MGM Resorts in a deal worth $4.25bn. The company is clearly betting big on the future of these gaming facilities in Las Vegas.

Blackstone’s growing portfolio

Blackstone is purchasing the properties in a joint venture with MGM Growth Properties REIT, a real investment trust that was created in 2016, which also happens to be a subsidiary of MGM Resorts. 

The two parties will then control almost 10,000 hotel rooms across Las Vegas. Blackstone will also be purchasing $150m worth of MGM Growth Properties Class A shares to cement this partnership.

MGM Resorts will remain the chief operator of these hotels. This includes operating the roughly 300,000 square foot casino floor that is now part of this new partnership’s portfolio in Las Vegas. 

As part of this joint venture, the Blackstone Group controls 49.9%, with MGM Growth Properties holding a 50.1% majority stake.

Blackstone CEO Jon Gray commented on the company’s aggressive approach to acquisitions and investments, stating: “This transaction reflects our continuing strong conviction in Las Vegas.”

MGM Resorts slimming down

MGM Resorts has been strategically moving away from large holdings of gaming real estate in Las Vegas. It sold the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in October. The Circus Circus is also being sold to Phil Ruffin, the owner of the Treasure Island Casino. 

With all of these various deals put together, MGM Resorts will gain approximately $8.2bn for selling these assets.

MGM Resorts will be paying rent in order to continue operating the facilities, having signed long-term lease agreements to do so. To continue operating the Bellagio Casino and the MGM Grand, the companu will pay annual rent of $292m to the Blackstone/MGM Growth joint venture.

Jim Murren, chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts, spoke about this latest deal. He said it is

a key milestone in executing the company’s previously communicated asset-light strategy.”

He went on to speak about how the company’s balance sheet has now been tightened up. MGM Resorts now has strong levels of free cashflow. This will give strategic flexibility to the company going forward, helping it to deliver value for shareholders.