MGM Resorts International is in talks to sell its Circus Circus property in Las Vegas to real estate magnate Phil Ruffin, per Bloomberg.
People with knowledge of the deal's particulars say the company - the largest casino operator on the Vegas Strip - could announce the sale as part of a larger transaction inclusive of its real estate portfolio which encompasses the Bellagio and MGM Grand.
MGM has been under pressure to restructure from activist investors and has since cut and reshuffled management. It has also sold all but four of the casinos under the full ownership of a real estate investment trust called MGM Growth Properties Inc. that it started up three years ago.
Bloomberg reports that the firm is engaged in talks relating to the sales of flagship properties Bellagio and MGM Grand to Blackstone Group. CEO Jim Murren has also indicated that it is his intention to disclose the results of a board-level study of the company's real estate by early fall.
Circus Circus, once a property of publicly-traded company Circus Circus Enterprises, is over 50 years old and was acquired by MGM. It is located in the less-trafficked end of the Strip.
Ruffin, meanwhile, has done business with MGM in the past. The real estate mogul bought the Treasure Island casino from the company for $746 million in 2009 when it was trying to raise cash after the financial crisis and to finish the building of its CityCenter project. He spruced things up by adding a western-themed barbeque restaurant and other amenities to target guests from middle America. Prior to that, he partnered with now US President Donald Trump over the Trump International Hotel.
We can expect news of a sale soon enough but, with the state of affairs set to be released in the very near future, the picture should become much clearer.