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Two of Las Vegas's most famous hotels are under new ownership



The gaming company said Tuesday that it is selling Circus Circus to a rival resort owner for $ 825 million. MGM also forms a joint venture with private equity firm Blackstone to buy Bellagio's property and lease it back to MGM Resorts. This deal values ​​the Bellagio resort at $ 4.25 billion.

  CIrcus Circus in Las Vegas opened in 1968.

Opened in 1968, Circus Circus is one of the city's most recognizable casinos and still targets families with its theme park and cheap rooms. It is being sold to Phil Ruffian, who owns the nearby resort and the Treasure Island casino. The $ 825 million deal is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Blackstone takes control of Bellagio's land that is in the middle of the strip and is known for its dancing fountains. MGM will retain 5% equity in Bellagio, and the company will pay $ 245 million in annual rent to operate the hotel.

MGM plans to use the proceeds from the transactions to cut back the balance and return capital to the shareholders, cf. a statement from MGM Resorts ( MGM ) Managing Director Jim Murren.
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The two agreements, which are expected to end this year, will help MGM Resorts raise money – a buffer as the global economy slows down. It will also help MGM expand internationally. The company is investing billions of dollars in a new casino in Osaka, Japan. It also expands sports betting in the United States.
This is the second major real estate deal that has shaken the Las Vegas landscape this year. Rival Caesars Entertainment ( CZR ) sold Rio, an off-Strip casino, for $ 516 million to another real estate company. In June Eldorado Resorts ( ERI ) agreed to buy Caesars for $ 17.3 billion to create the largest gaming company in the United States.

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