Two of the most iconic Las Vegas Strip casinos might be sold, according to a Bloomberg report.
The financial media company is reporting that Blackstone Group Inc. (BX) is in talks with “MGM Resorts (”MGM“:https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/MGM?p=MGM&.tsrc=fin-srch) to buy both the Bellagio and the MGM Grand. Blackstone would then lease the property back to MGM Resorts, who would continue to run the day-to-day casino operations.
The sources Bloomberg used requested anonymity because the talks are still private and neither Blackstone or MGM would comment on the situation.
The MGM Grand and Bellagio are two of the biggest properties owned by MGM Resorts, which owns properties in the United States and China. Between the two resorts, there are about 315,000 square feet of gaming floor and more than 10,000 hotel rooms.
By selling the property to Blackstone, a private equity firm that has multiple real estate funds, MGM would free up needed capital to build a $10 billion resort in Japan, where the Las Vegas-based gaming giant is currently vying for a license. Early estimates have MGM receiving roughly $7 billion for the two casino resorts.
Blackstone has made a splash in the gaming market over the last several years. It purchased the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas in 2014 for $1.73 billion and was reportedly looking to sell it this past spring for $4 billion. It also acquired Spain-based Cirsa Gaming Corp. last year for $1.8 billion.