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Blackstone selling Vegas hotel Cosmopolitan in $5.65B deal

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas luxury resort casino and hotel, seen in December 2010. The owner of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the New York private equity firm Blackstone, is selling the 3,000-room Las Vegas Strip hotel in a $5.65 billion deal with a partnership that plans to contract with casino giant MGM Resorts International to operate the property.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas luxury resort casino and hotel, seen in December 2010. The owner of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the New York private equity firm Blackstone, is selling the 3,000-room Las Vegas Strip hotel in a $5.65 billion deal with a partnership that plans to contract with casino giant MGM Resorts International to operate the property.

LAS VEGAS >> The owner of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the New York private equity firm Blackstone, is selling the 3,000-room Las Vegas Strip hotel in a $5.65 billion deal with a partnership that plans to contract with casino giant MGM Resorts International to operate the property.

The new owners — the Cherng Family Trust, headed by Panda Express billionaires Andrew and Peggy Cherng; real estate investment firm Stonepeak Partners; and a Blackstone real estate fund, Real Estate Income Trust Inc. — will pay more than $4 billion to acquire the property, Blackstone said today. MGM Resorts will pay $1.6 billion to take over the hotel’s operations.

Blackstone said it has agreements with unions for about 3,000 employees to keep their jobs.

The transaction needs regulatory approval and is projected to close in the first half of 2022.

The Cosmopolitan includes a casino, the Marquee nightclub, several restaurants and a fourth-floor swimming pool overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard. It opened in 2010 at a cost of about $4 billion and sits between MGM Resorts’ Bellagio and the City Center project that includes the Aria Resort & Casino and Vdara Hotel & Spa.

Blackstone bought it in 2014 from Deutsche Bank for about $1.7 billion and said today it invested some $500 million in renovations.

The property, along with all other casinos in Nevada, was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic from mid-March to early June 2020. But Blackstone said the Cosmopolitan’s performance in the second quarter of 2021 exceeded pre-COVID levels.

MGM Resorts, a major presence on the Strip, will run the hotel complex. It already owns 13 Las Vegas Boulevard properties, including the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Delano Las Vegas and New York-New York, as well as the T-Mobile Arena and the Park retail promenade.

MGM Resorts executives called The Cosmopolitan a good fit with other company properties and said the deal should drive growth at the hotel.

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