Miriam Adelson Selling $2B in Sands Stock, Company to Buy Back $250M

Posted on: November 28, 2023, 05:15h. 

Last updated on: November 29, 2023, 10:35h.

Dr. Miriam Adelson and the Miriam Adelson Trust are selling $2 billion worth of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) stock in a transaction that won’t generate any proceeds for the gaming company her late husband, Sheldon Adelson, founded.

Miriam Adelson
Miriam Adelson, with her late husband, Sheldon, seated to the right. She selling $2 billion worth of Las Vegas Sands stock. (Image: Getty Images)

Bank of America Securities and Goldman Sachs are joint book-running managers for the share sale.

In connection with the Offering, the Selling Stockholders and certain related trusts are expected to enter into lock-up agreements for a period of 365 days from the pricing date of the Offering, during which time they will be restricted from engaging in certain transactions with respect to shares of the Company’s common stock,” according to a statement issued by the Las Vegas-based casino operator.

While Sands isn’t receiving cash by way of Adelson’s share sale, the gaming company said it will repurchase up to $250 million of the shares being sold, potentially cushioning some of the blow from a $2 billion sale. Interestingly, the operator recently announced plans for a $2 billion share repurchase program. Shares of the gaming stock slipped 4.60% in after-hours trading on news of Adelson’s sale.

Miriam Adelson Still Largest Sands Investor

In mid-2019, amid his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Sheldon Adelson transferred millions of shares of Sands equity to his wife. That made her the richest Israeli — she has dual U.S./Israel citizenship — a status she retains to this day.

Sheldon Adelson, along with a small number of other gaming scions, is widely viewed as one of the architects of the integrated resort structure that helped the casino industry morph from being dependent on gaming revenue to realizing billions of dollars in annual sales derived from conventions, dining, and entertainment. He was also the first U.S. gaming executive to see the potential of Macau, where Sands China is now the largest operator.

Sheldon Adelson died in January 2021 and was succeeded at the helm of LVS by Rob Goldstein. At that time, the conventional wisdom was that Miriam Adelson and her family wouldn’t trim their stake in the company. Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Miriam Adelson and her eponymous trust controlled 57% of the shares outstanding.

That works out to 435.62 million shares, according to Finviz data. Based on Tuesday’s closing price of $47.66, a $2 billion sale works out to be 41.96 million shares, meaning Adelson’s Sands stake will be reduced to 393.66 million shares.

Potential Uses for the Cash

While she’s the largest Sands shareholder, Miriam Adelson isn’t involved in day-to-day operations at the gaming company. She doesn’t even have a board seat, though her son-in-law, Patrick Dumont, does. He’s also chief operating officer and president of the Parisian Macau operator.

As for how she might deploy the incoming capital, neither Miriam Adelson nor the company commented to that effect, and they’re not legally obligated to do so.

It’s possible that Adelson will direct some of that cash to pro-Israel causes and charities, and it wouldn’t be surprising if GOP candidates and the Republican National Committee (RNC) reach out to her, given her track record of donations to the party.