Casino Billionaire Adelson Selling $2B in Stock to Buy Pro Sports Team

Miriam Adelson, one of America’s richest women, has filed to sell $2 billion in Las Vegas Sands stock “to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise pursuant to a binding purchase agreement,” according to a regulatory filing Tuesday evening.

The filing gives little more information than that, other than to say that Adelson intends to also use cash on hand along with the proceeds of the stock sale to fund the sports team purchase. Details about the team and sport aren’t disclosed in the prospectus. The company is required to disclose the information because Adelson controls most of the shares of publicly traded Las Vegas Sands.

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The sum of $2 billion would be enough to buy a controlling stake in most pro sports teams, except in the NFL and the most recognizable franchises of the other major sports leagues, according to Sportico data. Speculative targets include baseball’s Oakland A’s, which intend to relocate to Las Vegas, or a potential expansion team for the NBA, which will be the only major U.S. sports league without a Nevada franchise, assuming the A’s move.

Adelson is the widow of the Boston-born Las Vegas Sands founder Sheldon Adelson, who died in 2021. While Miriam controls more than 400 million shares of Sands, worth about $19 billion, much of the stock is held in benefit for her children with Sheldon, as well as potentially other family members, including Sheldon’s children from a prior marriage.

Given pro sports’ wariness of mingling gambling and ownership interests, it’s possible the sale is for a trust beneficiary, who would probably have enough of an arms length from the Sands to sidestep any prohibitions, given the fact Miriam controls all the gambling business equity. Adelson scion Matan Adelson recently purchased an Israeli pro basketball club that competes in the Euroleague.

The wealth of Adelson, including the trusts she controls, is $32.3 billion, according to Forbes, making her the 44th richest person in the world. There are only a handful of sports team owners ahead of her, including NBA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer (worth $114 billion) and Denver Broncos owner Rob Walton ($66 billion).

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