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April 9, 2018

Vegas Events: MGM May Try to Buy Wynn Resorts?

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Here's some (potentially) big news for Las Vegas events: MGM Resorts could be looking to buy Wynn Resorts in a move that would add two more major Vegas resorts with a total of 290,000 square feet of event space to MGM’s portfolio, according to the New York Post.

Citing several unnamed sources familiar with the situation, the Post reports that there have been “back-channel approaches” involving a potential deal between the two companies, despite previous statements by MGM chief executive James Murren that it was unlikely the company would make a serious bid for Wynn. Another source close to the situation told the Post that Wynn Resorts’ new CEO would sell if he got the right price.

“I think if the Wynn CEO [Matt Maddox] gets his deal, he’ll sell,” the source told the Post, putting the chances of a deal within the next several months at 50 percent.

Another possibility raised by the Post: talk of a deal with MGM could spur another competitor, like Caesars Entertainment, to jump into the mix.

The sales talk comes not long after Steve Wynn stepped down as CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts after The Wall Street Journal published allegations of sexual misconduct over the past few decades by dozens of people who have worked at Wynn’s casinos, some of whom alleged he pressured employees to perform sex acts. In a written statement Wynn told the Journal that the accusations are the work of his ex-wife, with whom he is involved in a lawsuit, and that the “idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.” After Steve Wynn stepped down, Wynn Resorts appointed Matt Maddox, who was then the company’s president, to the CEO role, and Boone Wayson to the role of non-executive chairman of the board.

Since then Steve Wynn has sold all of his remaining shares in Wynn Resorts, according to a separate report by the Post.

Potentially purchasing Wynn Resorts would add two more major Las Vegas resorts to MGM’s portfolio, in the form of the 2,710-room Wynn Las Vegas and its sister property, the 2,034-room Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. The two resorts have a total of 290,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including three ballrooms ranging in size from 20,500 to 50,000 square feet and 39 meeting rooms. Wynn Resorts also has properties in Macau, Cotai and Boston Harbor.

MGM Resorts’ current Las Vegas portfolio consists of the ARIA, Vdara, MGM Grand, The Signature at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Delano Las Vegas, the Monte Carlo, New York – New York, Luxor, Excalibur, Circus Circus, The Mirage, and the Bellagio, the last two of which Wynn had previously helped to design, build and operate. MGM also has a number of other resorts elsewhere in the United States, as well as in China.

MGM Resorts competitor Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas properties include Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, The Linq Hotel & Casino, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Flamingo Las Vegas. The company also has properties in Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe, Tunica, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and more.

A representative of MGM Resorts tells International Meetings Review that it is the company's policy not to comment on rumors. We have also reached out to representatives of Wynn Resorts and will post an update if we receive any further information.

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