Crowds wait for the opening of the MGM Grand in Macau
MGM Resorts International started pre-marketing an initial public offering for its Macau unit Monday with plans to raise as much as $1.5 billion ahead of a Hong Kong listing next month. MGM China
Holdings, jointly owned by the US firm and a daughter of Macau gaming tycoon Stanley Ho, will hold an investor roadshow on May 17 with trading to begin on June 3, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing an unnamed source.
The US gaming firm said last month that Hong Kong\'s stock exchange had asked for more information concerning its plans before approving the IPO, without elaborating on the bourse\'s request.
However, MGM said it would have a 51 % stake and management control in the listed joint venture.
A report by New Jersey gaming regulators, which was first made public last year, told the US firm to cut its business ties with Pansy Ho after deeming her \"unsuitable\" because of the tycoon\'s alleged triad links, or risk losing its state gaming licence.
In response MGM said it would instead leave New Jersey by selling a 50 % stake in an Atlantic City casino-resort so it could keep its casino-hotel in Macau.
The former Portuguese colony is now the world\'s biggest gaming hub and a major profit source for several US gaming giants operating in the city.
Stanley Ho, who controlled Macau\'s gaming sector for four decades until it opened to foreign competition in 2002, has long denied rumours that he was tied to organised crime and allowed triad gangs to operate freely in his casinos.
In March, the 89-year-old tycoon said he had ended a bitter legal feud with family members including Pansy Ho, whom he accused of trying to steal his vast gambling empire and a fortune worth at least $3.1 billion.