MGM Mirage offers buyout to resort group

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- MGM Mirage would control about half the hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip if it manages to pull off a multibillion-dollar buyout of Mandalay Resort Group.
MGM Mirage, as the world's largest casino company, also would dominate the most lucrative gambling market in the world with 10 hotel-casinos along the famous five-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, including the immensely profitable Bellagio and Mandalay Bay resorts. It also would control about 40 percent of the slot machines and 44 percent of the gambling tables.
MGM Mirage would hold sway over Las Vegas if its purchase is successful, Deutsche Bank gambling analyst Andrew Zarnett said Monday.
MGM Mirage surprised the casino industry by offering $4.85 billion dollars in cash and the assumption of $2.8 billion in Mandalay debt late Friday. Few had expected the blockbuster offer even though MGM Mirage has been aggressively seeking acquisitions, especially in the United Kingdom.
MGM Mirage offered $68 a share, but analysts said negotiations and a possible bidding war could drive the price above $75 to $80 share. In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday, MGM Mirage said it was forced to reveal the offer after Mandalay's stock soared 10 percent Friday.

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