U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd says it is not currently looking for merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities. That is according to the group’s chief executive, Matt Maddox (pictured in a file photo).
“We are not actively thinking about M&A right now,” he said on an earnings conference call on Wednesday, following Wynn Resorts’ first-quarter results announcement.
Wynn Resorts is the parent company of Macau casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd. The latter firm runs the Wynn Macau resort on Macau peninsula, and the Wynn Palace resort in the Cotai district.
In his comments the same day, Mr Maddox noted that in any challenging business climate – and the industry has one in terms of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – “there’s usually transactions that are out there”.
He added: “There could be some really interesting assets that could come up that I think everybody will be watching.”
Mr Maddox however stressed that the Wynn group’s “expertise” was in the “development and running” of “industry-leading” assets. “That’s really our strategic goal right now,” he added.
Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive of rival casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp, said in late April his firm was interested in M&A activity in Asia. The firm is the parent of Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd, and also controls the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore.
In a note on Wednesday, brokerage Union Gaming Securities LLC suggested that Wynn Resorts itself could be a target for Las Vegas Sands. Other targets mentioned by Union Gaming were Australia-based operator Crown Resorts Ltd or the casino-resort venue Okada Manila in the Philippine capital.
“All three operate in established regulatory environments, would move the needle for Las Vegas Sands, and provide high return on invested capital potential,” wrote Union Gaming analysts John DeCree and Sam Ghafir.
They added: “If Las Vegas Sands is comfortable taking on a little more risk for higher returns, we think Okada Manila in the Philippines represents a unique opportunity to enter one of the fastest growing gaming markets in the world. Wynn Resorts is always at the top of the [target] list any time major M&A is discussed given the quality and desirability of its portfolio.”
In the context of the Wynn group and Las Vegas Sands currently being rivals in the Macau market, any integration there between the two “could prove challenging” due to Macau’s regulatory framework, but in the Nevada market in the United States, acquisition of the Wynn Las Vegas casino resort “would make a ton of sense for Las Vegas Sands,” stated the Union Gaming team.
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