Las Vegas' Losing Streak

The credit squeeze, on top of the travel-and-gambling slump, is forcing the Sin City billionaires to beef up their balance sheets

In Las Vegas these days, even billionaires are getting their credit checked. On Sept. 30 Las Vegas Sands (LVS) founder Sheldon Adelson announced that he would ante up $475 million from his personal fortune to buy preferred stock in the company, which will pay 6.5% interest over five years. Adelson's notes will convert at $49.65 per share, a considerable climb from the $31 at which they currently trade. The move shored up Las Vegas Sands' balance sheet. Without the extra cash, the owner of the marble-lined Venetian resort, with its Canyon Ranch spa and indoor gondola rides, would have found itself in violation of its bank loan agreements.

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