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Miriam Adelson to sell $2 billion in Las Vegas Sands stock as she looks to buy sports team

Miriam Adelson, the largest shareholder of Las Vegas Sands, is selling $2 billion worth of company stock, or roughly 10% of her stake, according to an announcement from the company.  

The proceeds will be used to buy a professional sports team, the casino company said in a filing Tuesday, though it did not give details about what sport, team or city Adelson would pursue. 

“We have been advised by the Selling Stockholders that they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise pursuant to a binding purchase agreement, subject to customary league approvals,” Las Vegas Sands said in the filing.

The company’s stock fell about 5% after Tuesday’s close.

Since 2017, Las Vegas has become a premier sports destination, which could make it an attractive target for Adelson. 

It is home to Stanley Cup winners Vegas Golden Knights, two-time WNBA champs Las Vegas Aces, the NFL’s Raiders, and a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Major League Baseball owners have voted unanimously to permit the Oakland A’s to relocate to Las Vegas. 

There has also been speculation about a possible NBA expansion team in Las Vegas as the league has been devoting more resources there with its summer league and in season tournament taking place in Vegas. 

The NFL, the NBA, MLB and the NHL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Adelson is listed as the fifth richest woman in the world by Forbes. She and her family inherited 56% of the shares of the world’s largest casino company when her spouse, Las Vegas Sands founder Sheldon Adelson, died in 2021. At market close Tuesday, shares owned by the Adelson estates were valued at more than $20 billion. 

Shares of LVS are roughly flat year-to-date, an indication investors are discounting the reopening of casinos in Macao, where the company has the biggest real-estate footprint in the market, and in Singapore.  

Las Vegas Sands disclosed in filings Tuesday that it will buy $250 million worth of Adelson’s shares. The company announced a $2 billion share repurchase authorization during its third quarter earnings call Oct. 18. 

“As we consider our future capital return, we expect share repurchase will be more heavily weighted than dividends. We believe repurchases will be more accretive than dividends over time, as they reduce the denominator,” Patrick Dumont, Sands’ president and chief operating officer and Adelson’s son-in-law, said on the earnings call. “We fundamentally believe in the compounding long-term benefit of share repurchases.”

Owning a sports franchise will be a significant departure from the activities that Miriam Adelson and her late husband were known for.  

The couple set records for political giving, including more than $218 million to Republican and conservative causes in the 2020 election cycle alone, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political spending.

According to published reports, Miriam has recently met with GOP candidate Nikki Haley in Las Vegas, as well as former President Donald Trump. 

As a medical doctor, Miriam Adelson is also widely known for her focus on addiction.

Born in Israel, she has made significant philanthropic donations significant toward causes that improve Jewish relations in the United States.

–CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this article.

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