News that casino developer Las Vegas Sands Corp may be considering a Hong Kong share offering for its Macau assets should come as little surprise. At last tally, the New York-listed company controlled by majority owner, chairman and chief executive Sheldon Adelson was mulling over no fewer than six potential equity or debt deals that could help it raise money to fund developments and avoid violating leverage covenants on US$10.3 billion worth of syndicated loans in Las Vegas and Macau. The bevy of fund-raising options includes two potential deals reported yesterday - a Hong Kong initial share offering, according to Reuters, or a sale of bonds, according to Bloomberg. Those come in addition to a potential sale and lease-back of the Sands Macau, which the South China Morning Post reported on April 27 but which was denied this week by Mr Adelson (right). Previously, the company retained its longtime bankers Goldman Sachs to negotiate a sale of 1.21 million square feet of shopping space inside its Venetian and Four Seasons casino resorts in Macau. In addition, Mr Adelson has said the firm was attempting to sell an equity interest in a half-finished 6,400-room Cotai casino hotel complex across the street from the Venetian to Asian investors who would fund completion of the project. Las Vegas Sands has already committed US$2.12 billion of its own money to the stalled resort. Finally, the company continues negotiations with potential buyers for its 1 million sqft of apartments attached to the Four Seasons Macau. Despite all the fund-raising options, a firm deal has yet to materialise. In the meantime, the company has embarked on an aggressive campaign of layoffs and cost-cutting measures to save US$470 million per year, mostly from cuts in Macau. At first look, the timing of any sale seems less than ideal. Shares in Las Vegas Sands are down 85.59 per cent from a year earlier. But casino operators have rallied in recent months and the firm's stock has risen 59.02 per cent in the year to date to close Thursday at US$9.43. Moreover, the company needs the money. It faces difficult covenant tests on its bank loans this year in both Las Vegas and Macau. Partly to boost earnings in response to those tests, which tighten in the third quarter, Las Vegas Sands said this week it will slash the equivalent of up to 4,000 full-time jobs in Macau, or 20 per cent of its workforce, by September. Interest among buyers for assets like the company's shopping centres or apartment hotels has been less than tremendous, so depending on price, packaging those along with prize properties such as the Venetian and Sands casinos may present a more attractive proposition for investors. 'We believe it will be more likely that the company disposes of a minority stake of the entire Macau operation or even the Asian business in the form of an [initial public offering] on one of the Asian exchanges,' CLSA gaming analyst Aaron Fischer wrote in a research note. 'It will be easier to agree on a price between the company's existing shareholders and prospective buyers-investors if all assets are bunched together.'