Sands's Adelson Mulls Singapore Mall Sale After Restriction Ends

  • Marina Bay Sands's casino revenue plunged 28% in first quarter
  • Company can't sell mall until 2017 as part of casino license

Gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands Corp. owns Singapore’s landmark Marina Bay Sands, said he’s considering selling the casino resort’s retail assets after a government-imposed moratorium expires next year.

The company has spoken with potential buyers, Chairman Adelson said in a conference call after Las Vegas-based Sands announced first-quarter results Wednesday.

Sheldon Adelson

Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg

“We have been approached. We have been talking to people,” said Adelson. Capitalization rates at the 800,000 square-foot mall, located in Singapore’s prominent downtown district, “are attractive, and we may or may not sell a portion.”

The world’s largest casino operator missed analysts estimates as profit shrank amid a sharp decline in gambling at Sands China Ltd., its main Macau unit. The Hong Kong-listed company’s shares fell 4.9 percent to HK$29.05 by the close of trading Thursday, the lowest level in more than a month, even as Adelson bet Macau would see future improvement from mass-market gamblers and tourists.

Las Vegas Sands “always have thoughts of monetizing anything” except its core casino assets, Adelson said. The company’s casino license in Singapore doesn’t allow it to do so until 2017, and the 82-year-old said he will discuss this when he meets the city-state’s government in May.

In Singapore, casino revenue at Marina Bay Sands plunged 28 percent to $453.1 million in the first quarter, while mall revenue decreased 2 percent to $39 million, according to the parent company’s statement. Hotel room revenue slipped 0.8 percent to $88.9 million, even as occupancy rose 3.1 percentage points to 97.9 percent.

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