PwC Shifts Away from Its Sands Warning

After Las Vegas casino company cuts back, sells shares, and wins financing, the auditor removes its "going concern" qualification.

Troubled Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s recent success in the capital markets has persuaded its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, to change the qualification on its opinion. PwC said in a regulatory filing that it no longer has a substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

The change in outlook results from two recent developments at the casino company that occurred after the company warned that it could default on $5.2 billion in credit facilities secured by its Las Vegas operations.

On the financing front, the company last week completed sale of 200 million common shares and more than 10.4 million shares of its 10 percent Series A Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock with warrants to purchase more than 174 million common shares, resulting in net proceeds of $2.1 billion.

Also last week, the company suspended portions of a number of global development projects. It indefinitely suspended development of its St. Regis-branded high-rise residential condominium tower in Las Vegas, for example. It also suspended work on parts of its Sands Bethworks, including a 300-room hotel, a 200,000-square-foot retail facility, a 50,000-square-foot multipurpose event center and a variety of additional dining optionse.

In Macao, the company plans to temporarily suspend construction of significant parts of its Cotai Strip developments.

In addition, the company announced the indefinite suspension of its Hengqin Island development project.

However, it said it intends to continue construction of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on its previously disclosed timeline, with a targeted opening in late 2009.

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