Updated November 28, 2023 - 10:45 pm
Dr. Miriam Adelson, the controlling shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., plans to sell $2 billion worth of company stock to purchase a professional sports franchise, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday.
A source close to the deal confirmed Adelson intends to buy an ownership interest in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks franchise, currently owned by billionaire Mark Cuban. According to the filing, Adelson is buying a majority interest in the team.
The news comes after Adelson’s son, Matan, a basketball enthusiast, in June acquired Hapoel Jerusalem, a leading basketball team in Israel. In a June speech, Matan Adelson said, “Basketball’s profound impact on my life and my deep connection to Israel inspired this venture. I’m honored to represent Jerusalem, our eternal capital.”
Cuban has a longtime relationship with the Adelson family.
In 2017, the Adelsons honored Cuban with the In Pursuit of Excellence Award at a scholarship fundraising gala at The Venetian. Proceeds from scholarships help students attend the Adelson Educational Campus in Summerlin.
The Dallas Morning News reported in December 2022 that Cuban intended to partner with Sands to build an integrated casino resort with a basketball arena to house the Mavericks. Cuban and the Mavericks declined an interview confirming the deal with the Review-Journal at the time.
“My goal, and we’d partner with Las Vegas Sands, is when we build a new arena, it’ll be in the middle of a resort and casino,” Cuban told the Morning News. “That’s the mission.”
Adelson’s family would retain majority ownership of the resort company after the stock sale.
“We have been advised by the selling stockholders that they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise pursuant to a binding purchase agreement, subject to customary league approvals,” the SEC filing says.
Representatives for Sands and the Adelson family didn’t respond to requests seeking comment.
The late Sands founder Sheldon Adelson, who died in 2021, was a major financial supporter of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Miriam Adelson has continued to contribute to the governor’s campaign over the past two years.
Sands has tried for several years to convince Texas lawmakers to enable gaming in the state. But Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has led the opposition to gaming and efforts to legalize casinos failed in the spring.
Like Nevada, the Texas Legislature only meets every other year.
“Obviously, it’s got to pass the Legislature, and I’m not the politician to know all the elements there,” Cuban — also a television personality on TV’s “Shark Tank” — told the Morning News. “But you’re talking about billions of dollars in revenue. And it won’t be one of those things, I don’t think, where you ask the city and state for concessions. It’s more about, ‘This is going to generate a ton of revenue.’ ”
Late Tuesday, Sands issued a release saying Miriam Adelson and the Miriam Adelson Trust would be selling more than 46 million shares at a price of $44 a share with the offering scheduled to close Friday.
Subject to that closing, Sands has agreed to repurchase 5.8 million shares for around $250 million. The completion of the share repurchase is conditioned on and is expected to close concurrently with the closing of the offering.
The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson and Las Vegas Sands President and COO Patrick Dumont.
A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the location of a 2017 fundraising gala.