Dubai Antes Up in Vegas

Dubai World, the holding company for the Dubai government, is putting down $5 billion for a piece of the action in Las Vegas. In a long-term strategic partnership announced this week with MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM), Dubai World will purchase up to $2.4 billion in MGM stock and invest $2.7 billion in CityCenter, a mixed-use complex MGM is developing on the Las Vegas strip.

The deal marks Dubai World’s intro to the Las Vegas market as an equal partner with MGM in a joint venture that will complete and own the CityCenter project. Additionally, the purchase of as many as 28.4 million MGM shares will give Dubai Holdings subsidiary Infinity World Investments a 9.5% equity stake in MGM. Infinity World will attempt to purchase 14.2 million shares of outstanding stock for $84 per share and agrees to subsequently purchase 14.2 million shares directly from MGM at the same price. MGM shares were trading above $81 per share on Wednesday after the announcement, up from Tuesday’s close of $74.32.

Slated for completion in 2009, CityCenter will include a 4,000-room resort casino, 470,000 sq. ft. of retail and entertainment space, 2,650 luxury condominiums and condo-hotel units, and two, 400-room non-gaming boutique hotels. MGM will receive an additional $100 million if the project is completed on budget and on schedule.

The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the year, with the tender offer to begin next week.

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