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Blackstone Group completes $4.2B purchase of Bellagio in Las Vegas

Updated November 18, 2019 - 11:18 am

The Blackstone Group has completed its more than $4 billion purchase of the Bellagio, in what appears to be the most expensive sale ever of a Las Vegas resort.

MGM Resorts International announced Monday that its sale of the Bellagio’s real estate to a joint venture owned almost entirely by Blackstone had closed.

Under the terms of the deal, announced Oct. 15, the Las Vegas casino operator was set to receive a 5 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and around $4.2 billion in cash.

MGM has leased back the Strip property and continues to operate it.

The Bellagio, which opened in 1998, features more than 3,900 rooms and 155,000 square feet of casino space and sits on 77 acres of land at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road.

Known for its outdoor fountain shows and the crowds of tourists who gather to watch them, the Bellagio has been a top moneymaker for MGM, and its sales price dwarfs other high-priced hotel-casino deals in Las Vegas.

The closest competitor appears to be the $1.73 billion purchase in 2014 of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas — also by Blackstone, a New York financial giant that has been on a real estate buying binge in Southern Nevada for years.

Last month, MGM announced the Bellagio deal just minutes after it said it is selling Circus Circus for $825 million to Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin.

Collectively, MGM said at the time, the two transactions would let it “build a fortress balance sheet and return capital to shareholders.”

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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