VICI Properties CFO David Kieske will share his perspective on Las Vegas during a discussion at one of the few Strip developments the real estate investment trust (REIT) doesn’t own.
Kieske was announced Tuesday as one of the keynote participants in Preview Las Vegas, which takes place Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall. The event is organized by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and offers forecasting and perspective on the coming year.
Kieske will share the stage with Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill to discuss the Las Vegas tourism industry as the Strip enters 2023.
VICI is the Strip’s largest landowner, controlling more than 660 acres that house a dozen properties leased to four companies – MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Apollo Global Management and Hard Rock International.
Last year, VICI completed a $17.2 billion buyout of rival REIT MGM Growth Properties and contributed $4 billion toward a $6.25 billion purchase of the Strip properties that were operated by Las Vegas Sands Corp. VICI also owns the 77 acres beneath The Mirage, whose operations were purchased in December by Hard Rock from MGM Resorts for almost $1.1 billion.
The Preview Las Vegas program will include Formula 1 Group CEO Stefano Domenicali, Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm, Applied Analysis principal analyst Jeremy Aguero and Lucas Watson, president of the $2.17 billion MSG Sphere.
Meanwhile, VICI announced a stock sale last week of more than 26 million shares at $33 per share. The sale closes Wednesday. In a research note, JMP Securities gaming analyst Mitch Germain said the sale proceeds are expected to gross roughly $870 million to VICI with an additional $130 million being earned by the underwriters.
VICI said it would contribute any cash proceeds it receives to its company-owned operating partnership, which expects to use funds for its acquisition pipeline, development and improvement of properties, funding of loans and other general corporate purposes.
One of those loans could include all or part of the $350 million the company committed as part of a $2.2 billion construction loan package that will allow developers of the Fontainebleau resort to complete the long-stalled north Strip project.
Fontainebleau Development and Koch Real Estate Investments announced the loan package on Dec. 23. The Fontainebleau project restarted in November 2021 after the original Florida-based developer reacquired the 25-acre site nine months earlier. The project sat unfinished for 12 years after construction was halted in 2009.
Germain told investors VICI had roughly $5 billion on its balance sheet at the end of September. However, the company has since bought the remaining 49.9 percent of MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay from Blackstone REIT for more than $4 billion in cash and debt assumption and spent $200.8 million on four Canadian casinos.
“This raise will serve a dual purpose of contributing to reducing leverage while enabling VICI to remain aggressive on the deal front,” Germain wrote. “Our diligence suggests much of the company’s competition has shifted to the sidelines, giving VICI a front-row seat to deal activity.”