A Blackstone Bellagio Deal Is Looking More Likely

September 17, 2019 | News, Takeovers and Buyouts
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Blackstone (BX is on a buying binge in recent weeks.

A Blackstone Bellagio deal? Why not?

Just a day after announcing the $4 billion buyout of Dream Global Real Estate Investment Trust, Blackstone is back at it.

The alternative investment giant said they are in discussions to buy and lease back the Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas casinos from MGM Resorts International (MGM).

The firms have not finalized a deal. However, the talks have taken place over the last several months. Estimates are that MGM could raise as much as $7 billion from a sales leaseback. They could use this deal to expand or apply it towards the $10 billion needed to get a license to operate a casino in Osaka, Japan.

A Blackstone Bellagio Deal Has Precedent

The firm Blackstone has experience dealing in Las Vegas casinos. Blackstone already owns the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in town.

The firm also spent at least $129 million to buy 20 industrial properties near JFK Airport in Queens, New York.

Thanks in large part to E-Commerce industrial properties have been in high demand and Blackstone has been very active in the space. Earlier this year they bought an $18.7 billion warehouse portfolio from GLP, a Singapore based investment manager specializing in logistics and related technology investments.

Blackstone has plenty of cash available for real estate. They just closed a $20 billion-dollar real estate fund after raising a $15 billion fund earlier this year. Add is some leverage and they have well over $100 billion of buying power for real estate opportunities.

Reasons Behind a Blackstone Bellagio Deal

All the buying is going on even as Steven Schwarzman the founder of the firm is warning that it looks a little toppy right now.

In an interview this week he said “Usually when everything’s doing records all the time, and there’s a lot of geopolitical uncertainty, it’s usually like a wake-up call. It’s not red, but it’s yellow. And it makes you be more conservative when you’re investing. It makes you think more about downsides.

It makes you want to buy higher-quality things because your chance of accidentally being lucky, which happens at the bottom of the cycle, is much lower.”

Most of the real estate they have been buying or discussing in the past few months would appear to fit that higher quality definition.

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