Cash-Poor MGM Mirage May Sell Casinos

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2009 12:42 PM CDT
The flagship MGM Grand in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – MGM Mirage, the gambling conglomerate, is considering the sale of casino properties in Michigan and Mississippi to pay down debt and save an underfunded Las Vegas development, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Vegas-based company has retained Morgan Stanley to shepherd the sales of the MGM Grand Detroit and Biloxi’s Beau Rivage, two of its best-performing casinos. MGM holds $13.5 billion in debt.

The Grand Detroit is particularly successful: While Las Vegas casino revenues have been plummeting recently, it posted a 4% gain in February. It might seem counterintuitive to sell such properties, but they aren’t “core” to MGM’s Vegas business, and the cash boost of $1 billion to $2 billion could help the company with creditors. It would also help complete its Las Vegas City Center, an $8.6 billion project beset by legal and financial woes.