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LAS VEGAS-The Bank of Nova Scotia is allowing Las Vegas Sands Corp. to up to a minority stake in its Macau operations as long as a healthy chunk of the net proceeds are used to pay down its subsidiaries’ $3.3 billion credit facility with the bank. The allowance is part of an amended credit agreement that gives Sands a six-quarter breather from some of the requirements of its debt agreements.

To allow the sale the bank amended the credit agreement to say that LV Sands had to own 50.1% of the common equity ownership instead of 100% as previously required. The sale of a 49.9% interest in its Macau operations could raise up to $1.8 billion, according to published reports.

The amended agreement also states that following the closing of any permitted equity sale up to $500 million of net proceeds must be used to prepay all classes of loans outstanding under the credit agreement on a pro rata basis. There also would be a concurrent permanent reduction in the revolving loan commitments equal to the amount of revolving loans prepaid.

The amended credit agreement also allows for Venetian Macau Limited and its subsidiaries to issue up to $1 billion of senior secured notes ranking pari passu with the loans outstanding under the credit agreement. It also allows for the issuance of an additional $500 million of senior unsecured notes or senior secured notes ranking junior to the current outstanding loans—as long as the consolidated leverage ratio is not greater than 3.0X.

The amendment also increases the applicable interest rate margins for all classes of loans outstanding under the credit agreement by 3.25% per annum, until an amount equal to $500 million has been applied to prepay the loans under the Credit Agreement, and by 2.25% per annum after such prepayment from the applicable interest rate margins that were in place immediately prior.

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