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Best of Liz Benston

Gaming Guru

Liz Benston
 

Sands Raises IPOP Estimates

13 December 2004

LAS VEGAS -- The owner of the Venetian resort in Las Vegas has again raised the amount of money it expects to get from its initial public offering of stock, saying the company could be worth an estimated $8.2 billion instead of earlier estimates of $6.8 billion.

"The offering, raised to a midpoint asking price of $25 per share from $21 per share, would make Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson worth an estimated $7.7 billion and establish the casino boss and Comdex trade show founder as one of the world's richest men.

"It would also make him the wealthiest casino operator in Nevada based on most-recent numbers from Forbes' annual list of billionaires. Adelson had $1.8 billion, compared with Steve Wynn's $1.1 billion, MGM Mirage shareholder Kirk Kerkorian's $6 billion and Stratosphere shareholder Carl Icahn at $7.6 billion, according to the 2004 list.

"In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Las Vegas Sands said it expected to issue 229.6 million shares to Adelson. Those shares would be worth about $5.74 billion based on a $25 per share asking price. The company said it expects to ask from between $24 to $26 per share.

"The initial public offering is expected to occur this week.

"Through trusts, Adelson is also expected to receive another 78.6 million shares worth an additional $1.97 billion based on the estimated price of $25 per share.

"After the IPO, Adelson also will receive 106,528 stock options that will vest in four equal installments beginning Jan. 1, 2006.

"Other top Las Vegas Sands executives are expected to be issued shares worth more than $3.5 billion as well as hundreds of thousands of stock options.

"Las Vegas Sands President William Weidner is expected to be issued about 3.6 million shares worth about $89.9 million and another 2.7 million shares worth about $66.4 million through a trust. Weidner also will receive 96,852 stock options.

"Executive Vice President Brad Stone is expected to receive about 2.8 million shares worth about $69 million and another 1.9 million shares worth about $48.2 million through a trust. Stone also will receive 84,746 stock options.

"Senior Vice President Robert Goldstein is expected to receive about 2.6 million shares worth about $64.9 million and another 532,066 shares worth about $13.3 million through a trust. Goldstein also will receive 72,639 stock options.

"The company said it expects to ask from between $24 to $26 per share for its offering of 23,809,524 shares. The underwriters of the IPO have the option of acquiring an additional 3,571,429 shares, bringing the total to 27,380,953 shares.

"Based on a midpoint asking price of $25 per share, the company could be worth about $8.2 billion based on 326,779,739 shares outstanding.