Las Vegas Sands chief Adelson to earn $1.2 billion from dividend

, Bloomberg

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Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson

Las Vegas Sands Corp., the casino company led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, voted a special dividend that will pay its controlling shareholder about $1.2 billion before an expected increase in federal taxes.

The Las Vegas-based company voted to pay the $2.75-a-share dividend, its first such distribution, on Dec. 18 to investors of record on Dec. 10, according to a statement yesterday. This month, the company also increased its regular annual dividend by 40 percent to $1.40 a share.

With about 437 million shares of Las Vegas Sands, or around 52 percent of the stock, according to an April regulatory filing, Adelson, 79, and his wife Miriam will collect $1.2 billion from the special dividend and another $611 million annually. The special dividend takes effect before an expected increase in dividend taxes from the current 15 percent.

“We have every intention of increasing the dividend in the years ahead as our business and cash flows continue to grow,” Adelson said on a Nov. 1 conference call. “I can only say one thing about that: ‘Go Dividend.’”

Companies are paying special dividends at four times the pace of last year as Congress is poised to let the tax on dividends rise next year. Sands rival Wynn Resorts Ltd. declared a $7.50-a-share payout and a doubling of its quarterly dividend to $1 a share last month.

Las Vegas Sands rose 4.7 percent to $46.08 in extended trading after its announcement. The stock fell 0.3 percent to $44.03 yesterday in New York and has gained 3 percent this year.

The Adelsons were the largest individual U.S. campaign donors this year with $54 million in spending, all of it to Republican causes, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.

Sheldon Adelson is chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands. His wife, a physician, is founder of the Adelson Clinic, with locations in Las Vegas and Tel Aviv.

Adelson is the world’s 25th-richest individual, with a fortune estimated at $20.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

 

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