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Casino landlord closes buyout of MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay

Updated January 9, 2023 - 6:49 pm

Casino landlord Vici Properties completed its buyout of MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay’s real estate, further cementing its ownership of huge resorts along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Vici, which already owned a 50.1 percent stake in MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, announced Monday that it closed its acquisition of the remaining 49.9 percent from financial conglomerate Blackstone.

The deal, announced last month, called for Vici to pay around $1.27 billion in cash to Blackstone and assume Blackstone’s share of the debt on the resorts, both of which are leased to casino chain MGM Resorts International.

According to a presentation by Vici, it is assuming 49.9 percent of a $3 billion debt load, or nearly $1.5 billion.

Las Vegas has seen a burst of deals the past few years that have shuffled resort property ownership around, with billions of dollars changing hands, albeit to little, if any, visible effect for customers.

Casino resorts up and down the Strip are now leased to rent-collecting landlords. By all appearances, Vici, a Caesars Entertainment spinoff, has emerged as the biggest property owner in the famed corridor with more than 600 acres.

Vici’s portfolio includes Caesars Palace, Harrah’s and The Venetian, as well as several MGM Resorts-operated properties including Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, Park MGM and The Mirage.

Rental rates for these massive hotels are not cheap. When the next rent hike kicks in March 1, MGM’s annual rent for MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay is expected to total around $310 million.

Blackstone, meanwhile, still has a big presence on the Strip, given its ownership of other massive, MGM-operated hotels.

The investment giant purchased Bellagio’s real estate for $4.2 billion in 2019 and bought Aria and Vdara’s real estate in 2021 for nearly $3.9 billion.

Blackstone also still owns a stake in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ real estate. It purchased the flashy hotel-casino for $1.73 billion in 2014 and sold it for $5.65 billion in a deal that closed last year.

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

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