Las Vegas Sands, which is seeking to raise up to $2.5 billion by listing its Macau assets on the Hong Kong stock exchange, could launch its initial public offering by late November, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.
The issue would follow Wynn Macau's successful market debut last week, which showed that appetite for gambling stocks was strong despite high valuations. [ID:nHKG18196].
The reported plan also comes as Macau is considering rules to impose limits on table numbers at casinos and to raise the age for gambling to 21 from 18. Some analysts said that would brighten the outlook for casinos in the world's fastest-growing gambling market by limiting oversupply.
Sands, which has hired Goldman Sachs and Barclays to handle the IPO, wants to have its listing hearing at the Hong Kong stock exchange by the end of October, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources who are familiar with Sands' plans.
The casino giant, which operates two casinos in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, expects to complete the offering in about four weeks after receiving regulatory approval for a share offering and listing on the exchange, the same sources said.
The combination of a global recession and the collapse in credit markets brought Sands perilously close to defaulting on its debt, but its recent agreement with Macau lenders has cleared the way for raising new capital.
In September, Sands secured commitments to raise up to $600 million through the sale of exchangeable bonds, which will have to be swapped for common shares of the company's Macau unit after the unit's initial public offering in Hong Kong. [ID:nN02534339].
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, Editing by Ken Wills)