Blackstone Seeks a Buyer for Las Vegas's Cosmopolitan

(Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group is exploring strategic options for the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas, including a possible sale of the strip property, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The investment firm is working with Deutsche Bank AG and PJT Partners Inc. to solicit interest from potential buyers for the resort, which could fetch $4 billion or more, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. Representatives for Blackstone and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. PJT didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Blackstone acquired the hotel and casino for $1.73 billion in 2014 from Deutsche Bank, which gained ownership through a crisis-related loan default in 2008. It has since made improvements -- completing construction on the top four floors, redesigning over 3,000 guest rooms and renovating spaces including the high-limit slots area.

Cosmopolitan isn’t the only Las Vegas property for sale. Billionaire Carl Icahn is pressing Caesars Entertainment Corp. to seek a buyer. Icahn, who holds an 18 percent stake in the company, the largest owner of U.S. casinos, controls three board seats. Caesars named industry veteran Anthony Rodio as its chief executive officer this week.

The Cosmopolitan, a two-tower complex, cost more than $3.9 billion to build. It opened in 2010. It was one of several properties under construction that were hobbled by the 2008 financial crisis.

Other Projects

Real estate mogul Steven Witkoff said this week he plans to complete the Drew Las Vegas in 2022. That property, which he acquired from Icahn for $600 million two years ago, was also abandoned during the meltdown. Another project crippled during that period, the unfinished Echelon, is being completed by Genting and will be called Resorts World.

Ken Caplan, Blackstone’s co-head of real estate, described the investment as a “classic buy-it, fix-it, sell-it opportunity” in a video posted on the company’s website.

The Wall Street Journal earlier Wednesday reported on the potential sale.

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