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Las Vegas Sands President Resigns

Discussion in 'North American Land Based Casinos' started by NASHVEGAS, Mar 10, 2009.

    Mar 10, 2009
  1. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

    Occupation:
    LOL
    Location:
    MERS
    I speculated (with reason) on Adelson's major screw up (See the Desparate Times thread) in mid-November 2008. FTR, a few days later, Weidner to my surprize went public. Adelson is a piece of work:rolleyes:

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    Las Vegas Sands president resigns

    By HOWARD STUTZ
    LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

    Mar. 09, 2009

    "Bill Weidners resignation Monday as president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. after almost 14 years at the companys helm was not a shock to gaming industry observers.

    Weidner, 63, had been feuding with Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson over the companys falling fortunes since the fall. The casino operator said as much in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in November when Las Vegas Sands completed a $2.1 billion recapitalization and kept itself out of bankruptcy.

    At an investment forum a few days after the filing, Weidner characterized the bickering as a junkyard dog fight. There are several of us who have very strong opinions.

    The companys board of directors set up a special committee to mediate the disputes between Weidner, his management team, and Adelson, the 75-year-old billionaire, founder and majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands.

    Apparently that didnt work out so well, Susquehanna gaming analyst Robert LaFleur told Reuters Monday.

    The company announced Weidners departure in a statement that was absent quotes. Weidner also resigned from the companys board of directors. Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said the casino operator would elaborate on the move in a pending filing with the Securities and Exchange.

    In a Monday phone interview with Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith, Weidner said he decided to resign Sunday after the bickering increased.

    With falling stock prices and worsening global economic conditions, disagreements and conflicts arose between me and ... Adelson, Weidner told Smith. As chairman, CEO and majority owner, Mr. Adelson has more recently insisted on more control of the company. It was time for me to move on.

    The resignation takes affect April 1. Weidner will be replaced by veteran hospitality executive Michael Leven, 71, a member of the Las Vegas Sands board.

    Leven, who resigned Monday as CEO of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, is the founder and former president and chief executive of US Franchise Systems Inc., which developed and franchised the Microtel Inns & Suites and Hawthorn Suites hotel brands. He also has held posts at Holiday Inn Worldwide, Days Inn of America and Americana Hotels.

    For the most part, Wall Street went silent on Weidners resignation Monday. Several analysts said they wanted to hear what Adelson had to say today when he is expected to address an investment conference in New York that is sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

    JP Morgan analyst Joe Greff speculated that Weidners departure might mean other executives will leave, notably, President of Global Operations and Construction Brad Stone. Stone has a long association with Weidner stemming back to their days working in the Atlantic City casino industry in the 1980s.

    Stone is heading the companys construction efforts in Singapore, where it expects to open the $5 billion Marina Bay Sands by the end of the year.

    We dont know, nor would we speculate about Stones employment status, Greff said in a research note. We do believe investors are appropriately concerned about Stones continued employment given his significant contribution to the Las Vegas Sands efforts in Macau and, more recently, in the construction of the Marina Bay Sands ... a key driver of the longer term growth story for the company.

    Weidner was viewed as the closest company confidant to Adelson, the go-to person on a variety of company issues. He was often in lock step with Adelsons political views, including advocating for an elimination of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the support of conservative Republican political candidates.

    He joined Las Vegas Sands in December 1995, after serving as president of Pratts Hollywood Casino Corp., where he operated the companys casino in Atlantic City and opened a riverboat casino in Chicago. Weidner had previously headed hotel operations for Caesars Atlantic City.

    At Las Vegas Sands, Weidner was instrumental in the companys growth, including its initial public offering in December 2004. The management team Adelson, Weidner, Stone and Senior Vice President Rob Goldstein had been together for more than a decade.

    Las Vegas Sands operates two Strip resorts The Venetian and Palazzo encompassing 7,000 hotel rooms and a 1.2 million-square-foot convention center. The companys expanding gaming empire in Asia includes two hotel-casinos in Macau and the Singapore project. The company is also opening a $700 million casino in Bethlehem, Pa., in May.

    In the past 17 months the global economy has taken its toll on Las Vegas Sands. Shares have gone from an all-time high of $148.76 on Oct. 29, 2007, on the New York Stock Exchange to Mondays closing price of $1.42, an all-time low. Shares fell 35 cents or 19.8 percent.

    The news, while not a total surprise, has been received negatively by investors, as evidenced by the sell off today, Greff said.

    Las Vegas Sands market capitalization has fallen from $28 billion in 2007 to $927 million Monday. Last month, the company said it had a net loss of $111.3 million in the fourth quarter.

    As part of the recapitalization in November, the company halted construction of a $600 million high-rise condominium tower on Strip, stopped construction of four hotel-casinos on the Cotai Strip of Macau and scaled back its Pennsylvania casino project.

    During the November investment forum, Weidner was asked why Las Vegas Sands didnt react more quickly and raise the needed capital sooner.

    We had to do what we had to do to put ourselves in a position to survive, Weidner said. It was a matter of robust debate within the organization. It was pretty much a monumental screw-up."


    Adelson and his family put about $1 billion in cash into the company to shore up its balance sheet. However, the recapitalization effort reduced Adelsons controlling stake to just above 51 percent."
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  2. Mar 10, 2009
  3. lots0

    lots0 Banned User - troll posts - flaming

    Occupation:
    I do nothing productive
    Location:
    Hell on Earth
    At the time of writing this... LVS common stock price has gone up twenty-six cents an 18.31% increase.
     
  4. Mar 10, 2009
  5. NASHVEGAS

    NASHVEGAS Banned User - flamming, disrespecting admin,

    Occupation:
    LOL
    Location:
    MERS
    The shorts are covering when guess who mentioned today that he expected restoration of the uptick rule in a few weeks. Mr. Barney Frank=Guess Who!! And I'll bite my tongue and state this I agree with.

    Adelson also spoke today at an analyst's meeting in New York, it is all good,lol!!
    Typical Sheldon:p

    ...."We just sort of helped him out a little bit. ... We helped him resign a little bit," Adelson said Tuesday at an investors' forum in New York.

    "To the fundamental business strategy, the guy who thought of the thing is still with us. That's me," the 75-year-old billionaire said. "The guy who put the whole thing together is now going to work with somebody else."..........

    Source of excerpt: an email I received!


    As previously speculated and now has been stated, Sheldon relentlessly vetoed some of top level management's prior urgings of a Secondary when if done even 30 to 60 days before it had to happen in November to avoid bankruptcy, LVS raises an estimated 10 to 20 Billion in capital versus 2 Billion. That would have been a lot of staying power.

    The shareholder class action lawsuits, 3 to date iirc , have been filed. Maybe no big deal but a heavy hitting group of attornies:rolleyes:.

    The properties are not going anywhere or shutting their doors, the question is who will own them in the near future. Love a good horse race;)
     

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