Monday, June 1, 2009

Weidner Responds, Sort Of

Former Las Vegas Sands COO William Weidner today shrugged off the attempt by LVS CEO Sheldon Adelson to lay the company's problems at his feet. The company's stock has fallen from $148 in Oct. 2007 to about $10 today. Construction has been stalled in Macau, Las Vegas and Pennsylvania while Adelson finds new financing packages, which he says he is this/close to sewing up.

In a May 22 interview with me, Adelson said:

"Would I have done anything different? Yes, I would’ve fired Bill Weidner a long time ago. He created a financing situation that was completely inappropriate. Now we’re getting financing that’s more appropriate. What I’d like to say, unequivocally, is it’s not a matter of the [Macau] market. The market is good, very good. You cannot change the culture of Chinese people and their love to challenge luck. If there’s some bumps in the road in terms of everything going 100 percent perfect. Our numbers have been going up and the [Macau peninsula, where casinos have long clustered and now include Sands Macao, Wynn Macau and MGM Mirage Macau] have been going down. [The Cotai Strip is] standing out as a separate must-see attraction in the city of Macau."

Weidner responded by noting that the trouble with the company's liquidity is that Adelson refused to sell off stock in early 2008 when the stock was still trading in near $100. Doing so would have provided plenty of cash for the company and averted the credit challenges, he said.

Other than that, Weidner didn't want to get into a public pissing match with Adelson. "Let him say whatever he wants to say," Weidner said. "It's ridiculous on its surface."


Pete said...

Weidner, "It's ridiculous on its surface." Does that mean it isn't ridiculous if you dig a little deeper?

Anonymous said...

It means that Weidner is prepared to get on with his career and not look backwards. It also means he is not going to get into a public pissing match or any unnecessary litigation. It further shows that Weidner is smart.


TheWordchipper said...

Enjoyed your interview with Sheldon Adelson (as I enjoy ALL of your interviews and the work you and Miles do on the podcast). But the numbskulled idiot who co-hosted with you while Miles was home ill made me appreciate what you and Miles do together. This "sub" lowered the overall quality of that program through his show-off, off-base comments on everything from the Gans memorial to the Obama visit, combined with a sort of pseudo-laughter that made me gag. Puh-leese keep him off your excellent podcast. That program would been improved 100% if YOU, Steve, had done that show all by your lonesome. Get well REAL soon, Miles!