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MGM Resorts names 2 to lead company’s planned REIT

MGM Resorts International said Thursday it hired two real estate veterans to head MGM Growth Properties, the casino operator’s planned real estate investment trust.

James Stewart was named CEO of MGM Growth Properties while Andy Chen was named chief financial officer. Both had been executives with the Los Angeles office of Greenhill & Co., a New York-based investment bank. The pair will be headquartered in Las Vegas and will be responsible for the formation and development of MGM Growth Properties, including overseeing the company’s initial public offering.

The company announced the REIT creation last year, saying MGM Growth Properties will be a public company initially owning the real estate and buildings for 10 MGM resorts, including seven on the Strip — Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur and The Park in Las Vegas. Regional properties MGM Grand Detroit and Beau Rivage Biloxi and the Gold Strike Tunica — both in Mississippi — will be included in the REIT.

MGM Resorts plans to retain a 70 percent ownership in the REIT.

MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said in a statement the executives establish “a solid foundation” for the REIT.

“As we continue our path toward the creation of MGM Growth Properties, the knowledge and expertise that James and Andy bring will be invaluable in positioning (it) as a leading real estate investment trust,” Murren said.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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