New York-based private equity giant Blackstone—which has $794 billion in real estate under management—is familiar with the gaming industry.
The firm’s holdings include Cirsa Gaming Corp in Spain which it acquired last year for about US$1.8 billion, and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which it acquired in 2014 for US$1.7 billion.
Blackstone’s expertise in operational improvement also gives it confidence to chase the largest and most complex deals, which few other firms have the capabilities to look at.
“As big believers in MGM Resorts and Las Vegas, we are thrilled to partner with MGM to acquire the Bellagio on behalf of our BREIT investors,” Blackstone president Jon Gray said.
“We look forward to a long and productive partnership with this world-class company.”
MGM also agreed to sell the Circus Circus property on the Strip, along with 47 adjoining acres, to real estate mogul Phil Ruffin for US$825 million.
The two deals come of the back of adding Keith Meister to their board earlier this year.
Meister is the chief investment officer of Corvex Management, which owned roughly 3 per cent of MGM’s shares as of January.
Back home, Blackstone set a new Australian record for office property when it paid Scentre $1.52 billion for the office towers above Westfield Sydney earlier this year.