$1.1 billion sale of Crystals mall has closed

CityCenter on Las Vegas Blvd on September 30, 2015. Shown is Mandarin Oriental, Veer Towers, and Crystals Mall.

The $1.1 billion sale of the Crystals mall on the Las Vegas Strip has closed, MGM Resorts International announced today.

CityCenter Holdings LLC revealed last month that it was selling the luxury mall, known formally as the Shops at Crystals, to Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group. CityCenter Holdings is a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Infinity World Development Corp., a subsidiary of Dubai World.

The mall opened as part of the huge CityCenter development in late 2009. It features more than 324,000 square feet of luxury shopping space as well as flagship stores from such brands as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Prada, Fendi and Tiffany & Co.

MGM Resorts said in a statement that the CityCenter board of directors approved a $1.08 billion dividend that was made up of one $990 million special dividend connected to the sale and another $90 million dividend that was “part of its annual dividend policy.” The dividend will be paid in the second quarter, the company said.

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said in the statement that CityCenter, which almost went bankrupt before it opened, has shown “significant operating growth and continued balance enhancement” since it debuted.

“As a result of its strong financial position and the successful sale of The Shops at Crystals, CityCenter will return $540 million each to MGM Resorts and Infinity World this quarter,” Murren said.

While CityCenter faced steep challenges early on, it reported strong financial results last year. At Crystals specifically, 2015 net revenue was $69.1 million, up from $66.5 million in 2014, according to MGM Resorts. Crystals’ operating income, meanwhile, was $18.3 million in 2015, up from $16.4 million in 2014.

Aside from Crystals, CityCenter also includes Aria, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental and the Veer Towers.

“This transaction showcases Las Vegas as a premier retail and entertainment destination in a growing marketplace,” Bill Grounds, Infinity World’s president and chief operating officer, said in the statement. “We wish Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group much success and look forward to their presence as a first-class luxury retail asset owner on the Las Vegas Strip.”

MGM Resorts said CityCenter repaid $266 million of its term loan B facility in the first quarter this year. CityCenter’s total outstanding debt was about $1.24 billion as of March 31.