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Howard Stutz

LV Sands to restart Macau projects

12 November 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Las Vegas Sands Corp., plans to restart the company's stalled hotel-casino projects on Macau's Cotai Strip, according to published reports.

The company, which operates The Venetian and Palazzo, halted its Cotai Strip developments a year ago when financing dried up and the company was forced into a $2.1 billion recapitalization effort to avoid bankruptcy because it couldn't cover its long-term debt payments.

The move reduced company founder and Chairman Sheldon Adelson's controlling stake in Las Vegas Sands by about 20 percent. Adelson, who is Las Vegas Sands' CEO, controls about 53 percent of the company' stock.

Las Vegas Sands is launching an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange of shares of the company's Macau holdings, which include The Venetian Macau, Sands Macau and Four Seasons Macau.

The company hopes to raise $3.83 billion through the IPO and said it wants to restart some of its Cotai projects, including hotel-casinos carrying the Shangri-La, Traders and Sheraton brands.

Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that construction could restart in January. A source said Las Vegas Sands plans to hire 12,000 to 13,000 construction workers over the next 12 to 18 months to restart work on the project.

There will also be space for shops and conventions in the first phase that is set for the mid-2011 launch, the report said.