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Vegas Property Owner to Scoop up Grand, Other Casinos

The largest property owner on the Las Vegas Strip is doubling down and taking full ownership of the MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay, which the deal values at $5.5 billion.

VICI Properties (NYSE:VICI), a real estate investment trust based in New York, has agreed to buy Blackstone’s 49.9% stake in the two Las Vegas casino resorts. VICI currently owns a 50.1% stake in the property, which it acquired when it bought MGM Growth properties in May.

The transaction is expected to close early next year.

VICI Properties CEO Ed Pitoniak said Blackstone approached him just a couple weeks ago, and that the deal came together quickly.

“We were very excited about the opportunity. Obviously, it simplifies our structure, but it gives us total ownership of two of the most iconic assets on the Las Vegas strip the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay,” Pitoniak said.

Blackstone Real Estate Investment Trust, known as BREIT, said Thursday that it decided to limit withdrawals after it saw redemptions in October that exceed their monthly limits. Blackstone shares dropped almost 10% on the news.

But what was a problem for Blackstone may be a piece of good luck for VICI.

Gaming REITS such as VICI own the buildings and the land of casinos and resorts. Gambling companies, such as Caesars and MGM Resorts − both tenants of VICI − own the operations.

VICI shares edged up 5.5 cents to $33.91.