Sands gets nod for Four Seasons sale


Sands China Ltd. received government approvals to transfer rights to prepare for the sale of co-op shares in its Four Seasons serviced apartment building. Sands announced plans for the 1 million-square-foot building in 2005, just before the government said it would ban residential development in Cotai. Its units have sat vacant for about four years while fueling behind-the-scenes tussles including alleged proposals for bribes and improper pressure on government officials. Analysts expect the company to raise about $775 million from the co-op sale, but the sale will still need further approval.

The company will invest $100 million to convert a theater area in the Sands Cotai Central complex into a premium mass gaming area with 80 tables reclaimed from underperforming junkets, according to Michael Leven, president and chief operating officer of parent Las Vegas Sands Corp. He told a Goldman Sachs investment conference that the company is also trying to set up a new VIP gaming area at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and is seeking approval for an off-site hotel as rival Resorts World Singapore is pursuing the same.