MGM buying out CityCenter partner, selling Aria and Vdara real estate

MGM Resorts International has agreed to buy out Infinity World Development Corp. to become the sole owner of CityCenter, the Las Vegas Strip complex that includes the Aria and Vdara hotels.

Dubai-owned Infinity World has been MGM’s 50-50 partner since CityCenter was developed (the resort complex opened in late 2009). Infinity World is selling its 50% stake for $2.125 billion.

MGM has also agreed to sell the Aria and Vdara real estate to Blackstone Group for $3.89 billion in cash, pending the close of MGM-Infinity World deal.

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Both transactions are expected to close in the third quarter. The closing of the Infinity World transaction is not contingent on the closing of the transaction with Blackstone, MGM said.

Following the Blackstone acquisition, MGM Resorts will pay Blackstone $215 million per year in rent and continue to operate the hotels.

Blackstone owns stakes in the real estate of other MGM hotels in Las Vegas. In 2020, Blackstone acquired nearly 50% of the Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand real estate. In 2019, Blackstone acquired 95% of the Bellagio real estate. In each of those deals, MGM Resorts pays rent and operates the hotels.

Blackstone also owns the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Commenting on the pending Aria/Vdara real estate sale to Blackstone, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said, “This transaction demonstrates the unprecedented premium value of our real estate assets and is a testament to Aria and Vdara’s status as premier destinations on the Las Vegas Strip. We expect to continue executing on our asset-light strategy and utilizing the proceeds from our real estate transactions to enhance our financial flexibility and secure new growth opportunities.”

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