After months of negotiations and "internal due diligence," including a trip in April of this year to Spain by Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS ) President Mike Leven, the gaming giant announced today it would no longer pursue its planned $30 billion resort development plan in the Madrid area.
The passage of new regulatory changes prior to Leven's trip to Madrid was the impetus for Sands to formally explore the potential to expand operations to Spain. However, after an "extremely thorough [internal] process" that included the cooperation of the Spanish government, Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said in a press release he "did not see a path in which the criteria needed to move forward with this large-scale development can be reached. As a result we will no longer be pursuing this opportunity."
In addition to The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas, along with its property in Pennsylvania, Sands has multiple operations in Singapore and Macao. Its international operations, particularly in Macao, were largely responsible for Sands' record $784.3 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) in 2013's third quarter, according to its earnings report released in October.
Adelson said he will continue to pursue his desire to expand operations into Europe but that "there is a time and a place for everything," so Sands intends to focus its growth opportunities in Asia.