Las Vegas casino billionaire Steve Wynn yesterday officially confirmed what gaming industry watchers have known for some time: the company he serves as chairman and chief executive is turning 'Chinese'. Speaking to reporters before today's launch of Wynn Macau's initial public offering in Hong Kong, which seeks to raise up to HK$12.6 billion by selling a 25 per cent stake in the Macau business, Wynn said: 'With this IPO, we're a Chinese company with Chinese ownership.' By any financial metric, parent firm Nasdaq-listed Wynn Resorts has already been a Chinese company for some time. A toe-to-toe comparison of second-quarter data for the 600-room Wynn Macau and Wynn's two Las Vegas Strip mega-resorts, which have a combined 4,700 rooms, shows the Macau property booked 32 per cent more revenue and 56 per cent more pre-tax earnings than its Las Vegas siblings. At the high end, the Wynn Macau share sale values the firm at 34 times forecast earnings, or US$6.5 billion. That represents 72 per cent of Wynn Resorts' total market capitalisation, which stood at US$8.98 billion, based on Tuesday's closing share price. Wynn said the company's motivation for the blockbuster deal was to 'share the ownership of this [gaming] concession with the Chinese public participants, Chinese financial institutions and basically to become more of a Chinese company'. 'A careful analysis of our numbers will show that we didn't need the money, although that is certainly not a reason not to take it,' he said. Local tycoons and a fund have already committed to buy US$250 million worth of the Wynn Macau shares. These cornerstone investors include former Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, Sogo department store owner Thomas Lau Luen-hung, Malaysian billionaire Quek Leng Chan and mainland-focused local fund management company Keywise Capital Management. Wynn Resorts is seeking gross proceeds of HK$10.65 billion to HK$12.6 billion from the sale, and a 'greenshoe' share purchase option extended to underwriters JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS could add up to HK$1.89 billion to the haul. But, unless the greenshoe option kicks in, only HK$38.8 million will stay with the Macau subsidiary, according to the listing prospectus. The bulk of the proceeds will go to a Cayman Islands firm controlled by the Nasdaq parent company to be used for unspecified purposes, which analysts have speculated may include paying down US-specific debt. 'As a consequence, such funds will not be retained by the company to finance its business operations or development,' Wynn Macau's prospectus said. Wynn Resorts is selling 1.25 billion shares in the Macau firm at HK$8.52 to HK$10.08 each. Ten per cent of the deal is slated for retail investors, with the rest going to institutions. Pricing is set for October 1, and Wynn Macau will begin trading on October 9.