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01 Dec 2009
Approximately $7.7 billion of rated debt affected
New York, December 01, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service today confirmed the ratings of Las Vegas Sands
Corp. ("LVSC"), including its B3 Corporate Family
Rating and B3 Probability of Default Rating. The company's
long-term debt is also rated B3. Moody's also raised
the company's Speculative Grade Liquidity rating to SGL-2
from SGL-3. However, a negative ratings outlook was
assigned. This action concludes the review for possible downgrade
that began on July 31, 2009.
The confirmation of LVSC's ratings, along with the upgrade
to SGL-2, acknowledge several positive events that have occurred
since July 31, 2009 which have improved LVSC's consolidated
liquidity, leverage, and ability to maintain covenant compliance.
The most recent and significant of these events being the completion of
a $2.5 billion initial public offering by Sands China Ltd.,
a recently formed indirect subsidiary of LVSC. Other events include
the recent conversion of $600 million of exchangeable bonds into
equity, the repayment of $500 million of Macau subsidiary
debt, and amendments to the company's Macau subsidiary credit
facility that provided financial covenant relief through December 2010.
The confirmation and SGL upgrade also considers the improved outlook for
LVSC's Macau subsidiary which now represents a significant majority
of consolidated revenues and cash flow. In Macau, more friendly
gaming policies from the local government, limited supply of new
gaming tables in the near term, and expectation of no further stringent
enforcement by the Chinese government over tourist visitations to the
enclave support stable growth for the sector's revenues.
Despite the positive developments mentioned above, LVSC's
ratings continue to acknowledge significant credit challenges.
These challenges include Moody's expectation of further deterioration
in the Las Vegas Strip gaming market, the continuation of a slower
than expected ramp-up of Sands Bethlehem, and further debt-financed
expansion in Macau. The company recently secured project financing
commitments for the completion of construction and development of Phases
I and II of the integrated resort project on Parcels 5 and 6 in Macau.
The negative rating outlook reflects the development and ramp-up
risk related to LVSC's Singapore casino project. LVSC's
Singapore $5.5 billion casino development is currently scheduled
to open in the first quarter of 2010 and is expected to be a key catalyst
with respect to debt reduction over the next two years. Although
Moody's recognizes the potential cash flow contribution from the
Singapore casino, a delayed opening and/or slower than expected
ramp-up would likely impact LVSC's ability to reduce debt,
and consequently, maintain its current ratings.
Las Vegas Sands, Corp.:
Corporate Family Rating at B3
Probability of Default Rating at B3
$249 million 6.375% senior notes due 2015 at B3 (LGD
Venetian Casino Resort, LLC (and its co-issuer Las Vegas
$1 billion revolver expiring 2012 at B3 (LGD 4, 50%)
$2.9 billion term loan due 2014 at B3 (LGD 4, 50%)
$593 million delay draw term loan due 2014 at B3 (LGD 4,
$397 million delay draw term loan due 2013 at B3 (LGD 4,
Venetian Macau Limited:
$609 million revolver expiring 2011 at B3 (LGD 4, 50%)
$1.5 billion term loan due 2013 at B3 (LGD 4, 50%)
$74 million term loan due 2011 at B3 (LGD 4, 50%)
$586 million delay draw term loan due 2012 at B3 (LGD 4,
Speculative Grade Liquidity rating to SGL-2 from SGL-3
The last rating action on LVSC was September 8, 2009 when Moody's
commented that the company's ratings were not immediately affected by
its announcement that its Macau subsidiary has completed the sale and
issuance of $600 million of exchangeable bonds due 2014.
The principal methodology used in rating Las Vegas Sands was Moody's Global
Gaming Methodology, published in August 2005 and available on www.moodys.com
in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research &
Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been
considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the
Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. owns and operates gaming and entertainment
facilities in Las Vegas, NV, Bethlehem, PA, and
in Macau, China. The company is also developing a gaming
and entertainment facility in Singapore. The company generates
consolidated annual net revenues of about $4.4 billion.
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's confirms Las Vegas Sands' ratings; assigns negative outlook
Peter H. Abdill, CFA
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
No Related Data.
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