Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson have had many duels over the years, ranging from strategic disagreements about entering the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau to arguing over the heights of Las Vegas casino resorts.
So, let's add initial public offerings in Hong Kong to the history between the chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts
Steve Wynn got out of the gate first on Wednesday with an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange worth the equivalent of US$1.6 billion, representing 25% of his company's Macau subsidiary. The deal is expected to close Oct. 9. The offering price, equivalent to US$1.30 per share, was at the top of the range proposed by underwriters.
Anything you can do, I can do bigger
Wynn Resorts has one Macau casino/resort, and it expects to open an expansion -- Wynn Encore -- during the first half of 2010. Although the company wants more land in Macau, it hasn't yet received government approval.
Adelson has been more aggressive in Macau, with two casino/hotel resorts and another luxury hotel. However, Las Vegas Sands has had to delay several projects "due to difficulties in the capital markets and the overall decline in general economic conditions." It must secure additional financing to complete these projects.
Las Vegas Sands hasn't provided details on how much it wants to raise in a Hong Kong IPO. In early September, it completed a bond deal with a Citigroup
Is good news sustainable?
There's been some encouraging signs from Macau recently, including favorable gambling-revenue reports for July and August, which should buck up not only Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, but also MGM Mirage
Steve Wynn occupied the headlines then, but the future spotlight belongs to Adelson. With a Hong Kong IPO expected this year, the continued uncertainty about Macau construction, the recent opening of a casino in Bethlehem, Pa., and the anticipated opening of a Singapore casino in the first quarter of 2010, Adelson won't be starving for attention. Investors hope he won't be starving for financing.