Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of LasVegas Sands Corp., said in a statement Wednesday that the company'sstrategic business plan "has always anticipated the sale ofapartments in either the condominium or cooperative form ofownership." Along with cash flow from the company's retail malls,the proceeds from the sales are expected to be used to de-leveragethe Sand balance sheet or to provide additional to build our futuredevelopments.

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The Sands began taking reservations several weeks ago from itswaiting list of prospective buyers of the cooperatives—inanticipation of the government approval of the separation of theapartments from the hotel. The company has now acceptedreservations for 65 units, or about 22% of the project, at pricesaveraging more than $1,700 per sf. Approximately two-thirds of thereservations have come from buyers who live outside of MainlandChina, Hong Kong and Macao.

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The Sands' properties in Macao include the Venetian Casino andthe Four Seasons Hotel,Adelson acknowledged the "less than ideal"financing environment for selling cooperatives and condominiums,but he said that the Las Vegas-based corporation believes in the"uniqueness of the product" and its Four Seasons brand as factorsthat will drive sales. The Sands Corp. owns and operates theVenetian Macao Resort-Hotel and the Sands Macao in China, alongwith its Las Vegas properties, and is also creating the CotaiStrip, a master-planned development of resort-casino properties inMacao.

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