Sands China US$1.5bln note offering to boost liquidity

Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd is proposing to issue an aggregate of US$1.5-billion in senior unsecured notes to boost its liquidity, the firm said in a Wednesday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Sands China, controlled by United States-based firm Las Vegas Sands Corp, announced that it was pricing US$800 million of 3.800-percent senior notes due in 2026 and US$700 million of 4.375-percent senior notes due in 2030.

The company said it intends to use the net proceeds of approximately US$1.48 billion from the note offering “for incremental liquidity and general corporate purposes”.

The offering is expected to close on Thursday (June 4), said Sands China. Barclays Capital Inc, Bank of America Securities Inc and Goldman Sachs and Co LLC have been appointed as joint book runners.

The agreement governing the notes will limit Sands China’s ability to, among other things, create “certain types of liens” on its principal properties; enter into certain types of sale and leaseback transactions with respect to its properties; and consolidate or merge with or into another entity, according to the document.

In Wednesday’s filing, Sands China said it was “unknown when or how quickly” the current travel restrictions introduced to contain the further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic would be “modified or cease to be necessary”, and thus its was unclear how quickly there could be an improvement in the company’s operational situation.

It nonetheless said: “The company believes it will be able to support its continuing operations, complete the major construction projects that are under way, and respond to the current Covid-19 pandemic challenges.” The firm added: “The notes issues will further strengthen the liquidity position of the group.”

As of May 29, Sands China had total liquidity of US$2.41 billion, according to company information.

Sands China estimated in a Monday update on its April operations that its monthly loss had been US$180 million amid travel restrictions linked to the health crisis alert.

The firm’s monthly run-rate of costs – including operational costs, capital expenditure and interest expense – were approximately US$200 million in April, with only US$9 million in revenue generated that month.

Sands China decided not to recommend payment of a final dividend for year ended December 31, 2019. The group nonetheless said that it would continue with its previously-announced capital expenditure programmes in Macau.

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