Wynn Macau Ltd. said it has sold $1 billion in corporate bonds, netting the gaming company $991.3 million in proceeds it will use to reduce debt previously issued at higher interest rates.
In a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange released today, the operator of two Macau casinos said the newly issued bonds come due in 2029 and carry an interest rate of 5.125 percent.
The company intends to use the net proceeds from the proposed offering to facilitate the repayment of a portion of the amounts outstanding under the Wynn Macau Ltd credit facilities, and for general corporate purposes,” according to the filing.
Selling new debt at lower rates than previously issued bonds is a common tactic in the corporate space because it helps companies reduce interest expense. Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) have BB credit ratings on Wynn Macau, which is junk territory, meaning the gaming company’s bonds carry higher yields to entice buyers to take on the risks associated with lower-rated issues.
Macau is Wynn’s marquee market, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the company’s revenue in any given quarter. Shares of Wynn Macau stock are lower by almost five percent over the past year, as gross gaming revenue (GGR) on the peninsula has tumbled due to the US/China trade war, a slower Chinese economy, and political unrest in Hong Kong, among other factors.
There are some signs that things are starting to pick up for the operator in the Asian gaming hub. Just a couple of days before announcing the bond sale, Wynn revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it expects October earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and revenue for the Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace to top the year-earlier figures.
The board believes that there would be significant benefit to the company in effecting the proposed issuance and using the net proceeds for the intended purpose, as it would lead to a reduction in the secured indebtedness of the group,” said the operator in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing.
At the end of last year, Wynn Macau carried $5.68 billion in debt, giving it a debt-to-assets ratio of 71.78 percent, according to Bloomberg data.
While VIP spending has slowed in Macau this year, the market remains vital to Wynn’s bottom line and the company has significant plans there that involve potentially large capital expenditures.
Earlier this year, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox said the company is turning away would-be guests at the Wynn Palace because it lacks the necessary room capacity to accommodate those patrons, a situation the company is hoping to ameliorate by adding 1,300 new rooms.
The $2 billion Crystal Palace, which be adjacent to Wynn Palace, will feature the added guestrooms, dining options, art museums, and immersive technology theaters, all of which are considered non-gaming amenities. Construction on Crystal Palace is slated to start in 2021, with completion expected in 2024.