Just a couple of months ago MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM ) majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. backed out of discussions to acquire MGM's key Bellagio and Project CityCenter properties on the Las Vegas Strip. It sure didn't take long for MGM to find another interested party.
MGM announced this morning that Dubai World would make a $5 billion investment in the company -- a $2.7 billion investment in CityCenter and another $2.4 billion in MGM stock. The $2.7 billion investment nets Dubai World a 50% equity stake in CityCenter, valuing the project at $5.4 billion. Project CityCenter includes a 4,000-room resort hotel and casino, 2,650 condo and condo-hotel units, and two 400-room boutique hotels located on 76 acres of prime real estate at Center Strip. The project is scheduled to open in November 2009 at a cost of $7.4 billion.
Through its Infinity World Investments subsidiary, Dubai World will purchase up to 28.4 million shares of MGM stock at a price of $84 per share, or $2.4 billion total, amounting to 9.5% of outstanding shares. Dubai World plans to acquire half of the shares via public tender offer and the remaining shares directly from the company. The purchase price represents a premium of about 13% to the price of MGM shares at Tuesday's close.
With the proceeds, MGM could pay down debt, buy back shares, or perhaps fund an acquisition or future development.
MGM has thoroughly demonstrated its ability to monetize the value of its massive Strip real estate holdings through the use of joint ventures. In June it announced a 50/50 joint venture with Kerzner International to build a hotel and casino resort at the north end of the Strip on land MGM acquired earlier this year. The deals also speak to the value of undeveloped Strip real estate owned by Harrah's Entertainment (NYSE: HET ) , Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN ) , and Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD ) .
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