MGM Macau aims for higher-than-expected US$800m IPO

HONG KONG MGM Macau, the joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Macau businesswoman Pansy Ho, is seeking approval to launch a Hong Kong initial public offering worth US$800 million.

Analysts had been expecting an IPO worth closer to US$500 million. “The Macau gaming market has shown pretty good growth in the last year and for sure that would be one of the reasons why MGM could raise more during their IPO,” analyst Victor Yip at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong tells Reuters.

MGM Macau’s listing would make it the last of Macau’s six gambling licensees to go public. MGM Resorts executives have hinted in recent months about the goal of going public in Hong Kong, but details of the IPO have not been formally released. The anticipated US$800 million valuation comes from a Reuters report, citing anonymous sources.

The IPO may face a hurdle, however, due to Ho’s ongoing feud with family members over the fortune of her ailing father, Macau gaming magnate Stanley Ho. The 89-year-old Stanley Ho claims some of his 17 children, including Pansy Ho, have stolen pieces of his multi-billion dollar holdings through questionable asset transfers.

Pansy Ho’s autonomy from her father is a point of contention between U.S. gaming regulators and MGM Resorts. Since Stanley Ho reputedly has been connected with organized crime in the past, his involvement with U.S. gaming companies is forbidden. While Pansy Ho’s partnership with MGM Resorts has passed muster with Nevada regulators, the gaming commission in New Jersey has ordered MGM Resorts to either cut ties with her or cease doing business in the state. MGM Resorts recently agreed to sell its 50% stake in Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to comply.