US casino operator MGM Resorts International has spent about $325 million to acquire an additional 5% stake in MGM China Holdings Limited from Hong Kong entrepreneur Fancy Ho.
According to a Bloomberg report, MGM Resorts International increased its total stake in MGM China Holdings Limited to 56%, and Ho’s holding company decided to accept approximately $175 million in shares and $50 million in deferred payments in cash instead of dividends.
Ho is the daughter of gambling tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun, who has held various stakes beyond China while maintaining a partnership with MGM Resorts International for more than a decade. The deal will allow her to acquire 4 million shares from Tracinda Corporation, which she ran until billionaire Kirk Kirk Kirk Kirk Kirk Corrian died last year, for $25 each, giving the 53-year-old a potential 4.8% stake in MGM International Resort.
MGM China Holdings Limited is responsible for the MGM Macau Grand Casino Resort along with the upcoming MGM Kotai Casino Resort. Ho provided another portion of the stake in 2011 through an open sale that raised $1.5 billion after transferring joint management rights to the Macau casino operator by selling a 1% stake to MGM Resorts International. This latest deal brings the former TV host’s stake in MGM China Holdings Limited to 22%.
“I believe in Macau’s long-term future and for MGM Resorts International’s shareholders, owning more MGM China would be a very impressive deal,” Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International, told Bloomberg. “I think I have to do this gradually. Going back to the deal, there should be buyers and sellers. As for the seller, Fancy Ho, I’ve been trying to do business with her for many quarters. This was a relatively small deal, but in a directional sense that tells us MGM Resorts International wants to own more MGM China, we believe in the long-term growth of MGM China Holdings, and I think this deal should be bite-sized, not owning a lot right now.”