Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Bear, Stearns & Co. said Friday it completed a $923 million financing package for the Venetian casino resort.
The package of $523 million in bonds and over $400 million in loans will fund the development of the Italian-themed Las Vegas mega-resort and convention complex by Las Vegas Sands Inc.
The deal was surrounded by controversy, including a labor dispute between the developers and the Culinary Workers Union, which represents the majority of Las Vegas casino workers.
"Union leaders' attempts to interfere with our financing was completely self-serving," David Friedman, assistant to Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Sands Inc., said in a statement.
"They never once gave any consideration to what was good for the Las Vegas economy or the people of the city," he said.
Market observers had also questioned the $1 billion project's profitability projections, which were considered by many to be very aggressive.
The highly anticipated deal was the first project financing on the Las Vegas strip since 1995 and marked Goldman Sachs' first major foray into casino financing, a niche dominated by Wells Fargo & Co., Societe Generale, and BankAmerica Corp.
Two high-yield note offerings, mortgage notes worth $425 million and senior subordinated notes worth $425 million, were snapped up by 61 institutional investors.
A $170 million syndicated loan package arranged by Bank of Nova Scotia and Goldman Sachs also closed last week. GMAC Commercial Mortgage provided a $140 million construction loan for the casino, which was to be taken out by a $105 million loan from Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co.