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Casino firm plans asset sale to cut debt

CASINO operator MGM Mirage, struggling with debts and waning consumer spending, has hired Morgan Stanley to help it sell assets, The Wall Street Journal said on Saturday.

According to the report, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter, the Las Vegas-based company is considering selling the MGM Grand Detroit in Michigan and the Biloxi Beau Rivage in Mississippi, potentially fetching up to US$2 billion.

Separately, the newspaper reported that billionaire James Packer, who owns casinos in his native Australia, is looking to buy a stake in CityCenter, MGM's venture with Dubai World. Packer, who controls Crown Ltd, is in talks with Los Angeles-based investment firm Colony Capital LLC, the report said.

MGM Mirage, which is majority owned by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, has had trouble funding its US$8.7 billion CityCenter project.


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