MGM Resorts International

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Not to be confused with the Las Vegas, Nevada based casino/resort operator Resorts International Holdings.
MGM Resorts International
Type Public
Traded as NYSEMGM
Industry Gaming, Hospitality, Tourism
Founded May 31, 2000
Headquarters Paradise, Nevada, USA
Key people James J. Murren
Chairman of the Board CEO
Products Hotels, Entertainment, Casinos, Resorts
Revenue Increase $7.849 billion (2011) [1]
Operating income Increase $4.057 billion (2011)[1]
Net income Increase $3.114 billion (2011)[1]
Total assets Increase $27.766 billion (2011)[1]
Total equity Increase $9.882 billion (2011)[1]
Employees 66,800 (December 2011)[1]
Subsidiaries List of Subsidiaries
Website www.mgmresorts.com
MGM Mirage's Corporate Support Center in Paradise, Nevada

MGM Resorts International (NYSEMGM) is a Paradise, Nevada based gaming and hospitality company. It is the second largest gaming company in the world by revenue—about $6 billion in 2009. It owns and operates 15 properties in Nevada, Mississippi, and Michigan, and has 50% investments in four other properties in Nevada, Illinois and Macau, China.[2][3]

The company became MGM Mirage on May 31, 2000, with the merger of MGM Grand and Mirage Resorts. In the mid-2000s, growth of its non-gaming (lodging, food, retail) revenue began to outpace gaming receipts and demand for high-rise condominiums was surging, with median property prices in Las Vegas twice the national average.[4][5] The company shifted its business model from fully owning and operating resorts and casinos, to being more real estate focused—launching the massive Citycenter mixed-use project.[6][7] Unfortunately, the latter's development coincided with vast overbuilding on the Strip and a global financial crisis, causing large losses and writedowns in valuation.[8]

In June 2010, the company changed to its present name, to reflect its latest strategy of expanding worldwide, including licensing its brand and expertise to develop non-gaming hotels and residences. Through 6 global offices of its subsidiary, MGM Resorts Hospitality, it has agreements to develop and manage nongaming Bellagio, MGM Grand and Skylofts hotels in countries such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, India, Vietnam, Egypt and China by 2013.[9][10][11]

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian and his Tracinda Corporation were, until May 2009, the majority shareholders of MGM Mirage; Kerkorian was the former owner of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio, from which MGM Grand derived its name. Following a one-billion-dollar stock offering by MGM Mirage amidst the global credit crunch, Tracinda's shares were diluted from 53.8 percent to 39 percent.[12][13] In May 2010, hedge fund Paulson & Co acquired 40 million shares (about 9%) to become MGM Resorts’s second-largest shareholder.[10]

History[edit]

Background and early ventures (1969-1988)[edit]

The company's background can be traced to 1969, when airline and casino tycoon Kirk Kerkorian bought a controlling stake in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio.[14] In 1970 and 1971, Kerkorian struggled with debt from his acquisitions of MGM and Western Airlines, and was forced to sell a majority of his casino company, International Leisure, to Hilton Hotels at a steep discount.[15][16] When the Las Vegas Hilton, the casino he had built, subsequently became the most successful hotel in Las Vegas, Kerkorian was inspired to lead the studio into the gambling industry.[15] It opened the original MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now Bally's Las Vegas) in 1973.[17] The MGM Grand Reno followed in 1978.[18]

By 1979, the two hotel-casinos accounted for most of MGM's income, and the company announced a plan to split itself in two.[19] The next year, the film studio was spun off as a new company, while the original company, renamed as MGM Grand Hotels Inc., retained the two hotel-casinos.[20] Kerkorian held a 47 percent stake in both companies.[20]

In 1985, Kerkorian began seeking a buyer for MGM Grand Hotels, to allow him to concentrate on running United Artists and on developing new properties under the MGM Grand name.[21] A deal was reached for Bally Manufacturing to buy the company; the deal closed in April 1986,[22] and the two casinos were renamed under the Bally's brand.[23] The terms of the sale allowed Kerkorian to retain rights to the MGM Grand name, and plans were announced to offer the stockholders of MGM Grand Hotels shares in a new company that would hold the naming rights.[24]

The company now known as MGM Resorts International was formed in 1986 as Grand Name Co.[25] as a subsidiary of Kerkorian's Tracinda Corporation.[26] It was renamed the following year as MGM Grand, Inc.[25]

The company's first venture was MGM Grand Air, a luxury airline offering service between New York and Los Angeles, which launched in September 1987.[27] The company also made an offer to take over financially struggling Pan American World Airways, but it was rejected by Pan Am's board in November 1987 for being too conditional.[28]

In August 1987, MGM Grand bid $152 million for the bankrupt Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, but was beat out by Japanese billionaire Masao Nangaku.[29] Instead, the company acquired the Desert Inn and Sands casinos in February 1988 from Summa Corporation for $167 million.[30] The Sands was promptly sold to Sheldon Adelson's Interface Group for $110 million in April 1989.[31]

First casino developments (1989-1999)[edit]

In September 1989, the company announced plans for a $700-million Hollywood-themed complex, including a 4,000-room hotel and a theme park.[32] The Desert Inn site was initially considered as a location for the project,[32] but within weeks the location was finalized as the Marina Hotel and the Tropicana Country Club,[33] which MGM Grand acquired for $93 million plus $30 million in stock.[34] The company put the Desert Inn up for sale to focus efforts on the new project,[35] but found no outside bidders, and agreed to sell it to Tracinda for $130 million.[36] Construction on the MGM Grand Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Adventures theme park began in October 1991,[37] and the property opened in December 1993 at a final cost of $1 billion.[38]

The company moved its headquarters from Beverly Hills to Las Vegas in July 1992.[39]

During construction of the MGM Grand, the company acquired an option to buy an 18-acre site across the street from the project.[40] Gary Primm of Primadonna Resorts approached MGM president Bob Maxey in 1994 with an idea for the site: a casino recreating the New York skyline.[41] A joint venture was formed between the two companies, and construction began in March 1995.[42] Completed at a cost of $460 million, the New York-New York Hotel and Casino opened in January 1997.[43]

With New York-New York under development, MGM Grand make moves to expand in several other markets. An exploratory agreement to develop two casinos on the Chinese island of Hainan was announced in August 1994,[44] but came to nothing. In Darwin, Australia, a lucrative market attracting high rollers from Pacific Rim countries,[45] the company considered building a hotel,[46] but instead bought the Diamond Beach Hotel and Casino,[47] renaming it as the MGM Grand Darwin. MGM announced plans for an Atlantic City casino in July 1996.[48] In Michigan, where voters approved casinos in November 1996, MGM made plans for a bid on one of the three available gaming licenses,[49] which would eventually be approved and open in July 1999 as the MGM Grand Detroit.[50]

In South Africa, with casino gambling newly authorized, MGM announced plans in August 1996 to develop 15 properties in conjunction with Tsogo Sun.[51] The first, a temporary casino in Johannesburg's Sundome, opened in October 1998.[52] Three more casinos followed before MGM agreed to sell out its interest in the properties to Tsogo Sun in November 2001.[53]

Since the initiation of New York-New York, analysts had speculated that MGM Grand or Primadonna would buy out the other's interest in the project.[54] Instead of making such a cash-intensive purchase,[55] however, MGM agreed to buy Primadonna outright for $276 million in stock plus $336 million in assumed debt.[56] The merger closed in March 1999,[57] giving MGM ownership of three casinos and two golf courses at the Nevada–California state line, in addition to full control of New York-New York.

Mirage Resorts merger (2000)[edit]

In February 2000, MGM Grand made an unsolicited offer of $17 a share to buy Mirage Resorts, which had foundered due to disappointing results at its new Beau Rivage and Bellagio resorts.[58] Analysts expected a protracted battle, with Mirage founder Steve Wynn seen as unwilling to give up control but under pressure from institutional investors.[59] Mirage rejected the offer,[60] but Wynn met with Kerkorian the next day and named a price of $21 a share.[61] The companies agreed on the higher price, for a total of $4.4 billion plus $2 billion in assumed debt.[62] The merger closed in May 2000,[63] giving MGM ownership of the Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Boardwalk, and Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget in Laughlin, and the Beau Rivage in Mississippi, and a half share of the Monte Carlo. The company changed its name to MGM Mirage in August 2000.[64] Mirage had also owned a half stake in the Borgata, a planned casino in Atlantic City, in a joint venture managed by Boyd Gaming.[65] Work on the Borgata continued apace, and it would open in July 2003.[66]

Stalled developments (2001-2004)[edit]

In 2001 and 2002, following the merger with Mirage, the company explored options for its next major development project, including opportunities in the Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Chicago, and Macau markets.[67] The 55-acre site of the Boardwalk casino on the Las Vegas Strip was earmarked for a technologically advanced megaresort targeting a Generation X demographic.[68] In Atlantic City, MGM shifted focus from its previously announced boardwalk site to a proposed billion-dollar hotel and casino on a 55-acre tract adjacent to the Borgata, where Wynn had planned to build the Le Jardin casino.[69][70] In the Chicago market, MGM agreed to pay $600 million to buy the unfinished Emerald Casino in Rosemont, Illinois, whose investors had been accused of ties to organized crime.[71] The deal was rejected, however, by state gaming regulators,[72] and MGM then backed off its effort, saying that Illinois's casino tax was too high.[73] In Macau, where Stanley Ho's 40-year government-granted monopoly on gambling was coming to an end, MGM submitted a bid for one of three available gaming concessions,[74] but it was not selected, losing out to Ho, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts.[75]

MGM made moves into the United Kingdom market after a 2001 government report called for loosening of the country's gambling regulations.[76] It opened an online casino, playmgmmirage.com, licensed in the Isle of Man, a British dependency,[77] and it applied for a license to run an online sports betting site in the U.K.[78] It acquired a twenty-five percent stake in a company developing the small Triangle Casino in Bristol,[76] which went on to open its doors in February 2004.[79] It inked deals to build casinos at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London,[80] St James' Park in Newcastle,[81] Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield,[82] the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham,[83] Sportcity in Manchester, Glasgow Harbour, King's Waterfront in Liverpool, and at a proposed stadium in Salford.[84] The company also signed a $490-million deal to acquire Wembley plc, owner of seven greyhound tracks in Britain and four in the United States.[85]

The British expansion plans ultimately amounted to nothing. MGM closed its online casino after less than two years, citing uncertainty in American regulations and competition from established British brands.[86] The Wembley acquisition turned into a bidding war, with MGM finally losing out to an investors group including Kerzner International.[87] The Triangle Casino was sold off to Stanley Leisure in 2006.[88] The company's other development plans were scuttled as the government scaled down, and eventually abandoned, the plan to allow large "super-casinos".[89][90]

In 2004, the company disposed of some of its smaller properties, selling the two Golden Nugget casinos to Poster Financial Group for $215 million,[91] and the MGM Grand Darwin to Skycity Entertainment for $140 million.[92]

Mandalay merger (2004-2005)[edit]

MGM entered into quiet merger talks with Mandalay Resort Group in early 2004.[93] The potential acquisition, which would give MGM control of more than half the hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip,[94] was seen as a "vote" for Las Vegas as the strongest gambling market in the world.[95] Mandalay assets attractive to MGM included low-end casinos like Excalibur and Circus Circus to broaden MGM's "high roller" appeal;[96] the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which would allow MGM to compete directly with the Sands Expo center in the convention market;[94] and at least two prime developable sites on the Strip.[97] The talks went public in June, when MGM announced an offer worth $7.65 billion.[98] Mandalay rejected that offer because of a clause allowing MGM to back out if antitrust regulators demanded the sale of any properties.[98] Analysts speculated that another bidder such as Harrah's or Boyd might enter, but none did,[93] and MGM and Mandalay soon agreed on a $7.9 billion deal.[99]

MGM executives were confident that antitrust regulators would not require the sale of any of the two companies' properties.[100] Michigan law, however, forbade one company from owning multiple casinos, requiring the sale of either the MGM Grand Detroit or Mandalay's 54 percent stake in the MotorCity Casino.[101] After some vacillation about which property to sell,[102] Mandalay accepted a $525-million offer for its interest in MotorCity from Marian Ilitch, the casino's second largest shareholder.[103] Meanwhile, in Illinois, where MGM needed regulatory approval to take over Mandalay's 50 percent interest in the Grand Victoria Casino, a lack of quorum on the state Gaming Board threatened to delay the merger.[104] MGM considered a sale to the casino's other owner, the Pritzker family,[105] but ultimately gained approval for a plan to place the property under control of a trustee until completion of the licensing process.[106] The FTC approved the merger as predicted,[107] and MGM obtained a $7 billion line of credit to finance it.[108] The sale closed on April 25, 2005 for a total of $7.9 billion, including $3 billion in assumed debt.[109]

The Mandalay acquisition made MGM Mirage the largest gaming company in the world,[109] but it was surpassed just two months later when Harrah's Entertainment acquired Caesars Entertainment[110] in a deal that had been spurred on by news of the MGM-Mandalay merger.[111]

Later developments (2004-)[edit]

Despite MGM's initial failure to win a gaming concession in Macau, the company had remained interested in the burgeoning gaming market. Rumors of a possible partnership with Stanley Ho were reported in 2003,[112] but Nevada gaming regulators informally vetoed the idea because of the alleged involvement of organized crime triads in his casinos.[113] Another possibility emerged when the government allowed the three gaming concessionaires to each sell a sub-concession.[114] In June 2004, MGM formed a joint venture with Pansy Ho, Stanley's daughter, to develop a casino-hotel under a sub-concession from Stanley.[115] Despite initial concerns about whether Pansy Ho was subject to her father's influence, the Nevada Gaming Commission eventually approved the partnership.[116] Construction of the MGM Grand Macau began in June 2005.[117] The property opened in December 2007, completed at a cost of $1.25 billion.[118]

In 2004, MGM solidified its plans for the Boardwalk site on the Strip, announcing Project CityCenter, a $3-billion high-density project including hotels, condominiums, a casino, and a shopping mall.[119] The Boardwalk was closed in January 2006 to make way for the redevelopment,[120] and CityCenter construction began the following June.[121]

Singapore emerged in 2004 as the next major new Asian gaming market, calling for proposals to build two "integrated resort" casinos at Marina Bay and the island of Sentosa.[122] MGM partnered with CapitaLand in an estimated $3 billion[123] bid for the Marina Bay site.[122] Their bid advanced to the final stage against three competitors, and was seen as the favorite to win.[124] The government awarded the license, however, to Las Vegas Sands, citing its strength in the meetings and conventions sector.[125]

On April 25, 2006, MGM Mirage announced with Foxwoods Resort and Casino a joint partnership in developing an expansion plan at Foxwoods that will include a casino using the MGM Grand brand.[126]

On October 16, 2006, MGM Mirage announced that it planned to sell the Colorado Belle Hotel & Casino and Edgewater Hotel and Casino to a partnership of Anthony Marnell III and Sher Gaming. The sale price was $200 million.[127] The sale closed on June 1, 2007.

On October 31, 2006, MGM Mirage announced plans to sell Primm Valley Resorts to Herbst Gaming for $400 million. The proposed sale would not include the Primm Valley Golf Club.[128] The sale closed on April 10, 2007.

On April 19, 2007 the company announced that it planned to purchase a 7.6-acre (31,000 m2) site from Concord Wilshire Partners for $130 million and a 25.8-acre (104,000 m2) site from Gordon Gaming for $444 million. The two parcels give the company complete control of the southwest corner of the Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard intersection. When combined with underused parts of the Circus Circus site, the company will have a 68-acre (280,000 m2) site for future development. The Concord site had been the proposed location for the Maxim Casino.[129]

On August 22, 2007, Dubai World said it will buy a 9.5 percent stake in MGM for about $2.4 billion. It will also invest about $2.7 billion to acquire a 50 percent stake in MGM's CityCenter project, a $7.4 billion, 76 acres (31 ha) Las Vegas development of hotels, condos and retail outlets due to open in 2009. Dubai World will pay MGM Mirage an additional $100 million if the project opens on time and on budget. The investment firm will buy 14.2 million shares from MGM Mirage at $84 each, a premium of about 13 percent over Tuesday's closing price. The firm will also issue a public tender for an additional 14.2 million shares at the same price. The public tender is due to begin during the week of August 27, 2007.[130]

On October 29, 2008, MGM Mirage halted a $5 billion Atlantic City project on land next to the Borgata Hotel and Casino, which it shared effective half-ownership with Boyd Gaming at that time. The announcement came on the same day MGM Mirage reported a 67 percent plunge in third-quarter earnings, largely because of sluggish revenue from its properties on the Las Vegas Strip.

At about the same time, New Jersey gambling regulators were set to deny MGM Mirage's suitability to operate casinos in New Jersey, as they were unconvinced that MGM Mirage's Macau partner, Pansy Ho, could operate independently from influence of her father, Stanley Ho. The latter is often accused of ties with Chinese organized crime and letting the gangs operate in his casinos' VIP rooms. Faced with not complying with New Jersey gaming regulations, MGM Mirage decided to sell its highly profitable Borgata hotel casino in Atlantic City in order to continue pursuing the even more lucrative Chinese market.[131] MGM Mirage subsequently transferred its 50% share in the Borgata to a divestiture trust through which it receives all benefit of the ownership. The trust will be responsible for selling MGM's interest within 30 months, although MGM will have the right to direct the trustee during the first 18 months.[132][133]

On December 16, 2008, MGM Mirage announced the sale of its Las Vegas Treasure Island resort and casino to billionaire Phil Ruffin. The sale was completed on March 20, 2009, where Ruffin took possession of the property and its operations. $600 million in cash was wired to MGM Mirage with a $175 million secured note bearing interest at 10% payable not later than 36 months after closing, for a total sale price of $775 million.[134]

On March 23, 2009 Dubai World the United Arab Emirates domestic and international investment arm of the Dubai emirate government announced that it and a wholly owned subsidiary Infinity World have filed a lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court claiming that MGM Mirage breached its CityCenter joint venture agreement after the company filed its 10-K report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which states in part "There is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern." and "it cannot provide assurance that its business would generate sufficient cash flow from operation." Dubai World through Infinity World owns 9.5% of MGM Mirage's stock and has invested a significant amount of funding into CityCenter giving it part ownership of the project are asking the court to relieve it of any obligations under the agreement.[135][136][137]

Old MGM Mirage logo

Starting on April 6, 2009 news reports began to surface that MGM Mirage hired investment firm Morgan Stanley to assist the company in finding possible buyers for the MGM Grand in Detroit, Michigan and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi.[138][139]

On June 15, 2010, shareholders voted for MGM Mirage to change its name to "MGM Resorts International", which emphasize the brand's global scope and increased non-gaming strategy. Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren said that hedge fund Paulson & Co had acquired 40 million shares (about 9%) to become MGM Resorts’s second-largest shareholder.[10][140]

On April 18, 2011 an Initial Public Offering was announced for the MGM Macau property. Under the agreement, Pansy Ho Chiu-king, would receive a 29 percent stake in the company, MGM China Holdings Ltd, which has been created as a listing vehicle for the IPO. MGM Resorts would hold 51 percent and the public would receive 20 percent. MGM Macau casino operator raised $1.5 billion from its Initial Public Offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.[141]

On 9 January 2013, MGM China Holdings Ltd received formal government approval to build its second resort in Macau. The venture will pay a land premium of 1.29 billion patacas ($162 million) and annual rent of 2.15 million patacas to develop a five-star hotel and a casino resort. The new project will give MGM China its first resort in Macau’s Cotai area. The casino resort, which will include 1,600 hotel rooms, 500 gaming tables and 2,500 slots, will take as long as 36 months to build. It will cost about $2.5 billion.[142]

The company is expected to bid for a license to operate a new casino at National Harbor in Prince George's County, Maryland.[143]

MGM Resorts International properties[edit]

All properties are wholly owned by MGM Resorts International except where indicated.

Las Vegas Strip[edit]

Statue of Liberty at New York-New York with the MGM Grand Las Vegas in the background.

Elsewhere in Nevada[edit]

Other properties[edit]

Subsidiaries[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]