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Wynn Resorts to sell 20pc stake in Macau casinos

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An overview of the Macau skyline overlooking Wynn Macau (right, the dark brown building), owned by US casino mogul Steve Wynn.

An overview of the Macau skyline overlooking Wynn Macau (right, the dark brown building), owned by US casino mogul Steve Wynn.

An overview of the Macau skyline overlooking Wynn Macau (right, the dark brown building), owned by US casino mogul Steve Wynn.

IRISH hotel executive Ian Coughlan is helping to spearhead a $1bn (€685m) initial public offering for the Macau-based casino operation of the Las Vegas-headquartered Wynn Resorts group.

Mr Coughlan, who has been president of Wynn's Macau operation since 2007, will play an instrumental role in an investor roadshow designed to drum up support for the IPO. That investor showcase is expected to begin on September 21, with trading in the Wynn Macau shares likely to begin on October 9.

The sale of a 20pc stake in the Macau operation will help pay for a $650m (€446m) second Wynn casino on the former Portuguese colony close to Hong Kong. Like Hong Kong, Macau is now a special administrative region of China.

Mr Coughlan (50), studied at the Shannon College of Hotel Management, as did many of his Irish peers who work in the international hotel industry. He has worked at various locations around the world, and immediately prior to joining the Wynn group in Macau was general manager of the famous Peninsula Hotel in Hong Hong.

He has a lucrative remuneration package with Wynn Resorts as part of his initial five-year contract, including a base annual salary of $750,000 (€514,000) in addition to an equally attractive bonus potential.

Wynn's current hotel and casino in Macau includes 600 rooms and a 100,000sq ft gaming area.

It's currently building a second 400-room outlet, Encore, on the island, due to be completed in 2010. The Wynn group, one of the world's largest casino groups, is betting on growth in Macau as revenues from its US operations continue to decline.

The tiny island already generates twice the annual gross gaming revenue -- €9.34bn in 2008 -- of the Las Vegas strip. Wynn's Macau operation generated revenue of HK$6.7bn (€593m) and a profit of HK$904m (€80m) in the six months to the end of last June.

Those figures are down about 17pc and 35pc respectively on the same period in 2008.

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