Billionaire Adelson paid $1.28M in 2008 to run Las Vegas Sands, 59 percent drop from 2007

By Oskar Garcia, Gaea News Network
Friday, May 1, 2009

Las Vegas Sands CEO Adelson paid $1.28M in 2008

LAS VEGAS — Billionaire Sheldon Adelson received $1.28 million in compensation as chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp. in 2008, 59 percent less than in 2007, as stock in the company where he is majority owner fell 94 percent, according to an Associated Press analysis of a company regulatory filing made Thursday.

Adelson’s pay package in 2008 included a $1 million salary and $279,000 in perks, including $173,291 for his personal use of a car and driver, the Las Vegas-based company reported in a proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

He did not receive a cash bonus, the element that made up most of Adelson’s compensation in 2007 and 2006. His perks included $100,000 in reimbursed professional fees and $5,843 toward a medical plan.

In 2007, Adelson’s compensation totaled $3.1 million, according to the AP formula. His salary was $1 million, his perks were worth $242,052 and he received a bonus of $1.9 million.

Adelson, 75, didn’t get stock or options in 2008 or 2007. Adelson holds 30.1 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, or nearly 198 million shares. With his wife, Miriam, he owns or controls a total of 52 percent of the company’s stock.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands dropped from $100.32 on Jan. 2, 2008, to $5.93 on Dec. 30, making Adelson’s stake worth $1.17 billion as of the end of last year. The stock has risen since then, closing Thursday at $7.82.

Sands, known for its aggressive expansion in Las Vegas, the Chinese enclave of Macau, Singapore and elsewhere, has had to temper its ambitions as consumers cut back on gambling, travel and entertainment.

Sands has suspended projects in Macau and Las Vegas but is pressing ahead with casinos in Singapore and Bethlehem, Pa. The company also amended its debt agreements to allow it to buy back up to $800 million in debt, a move company officials have said they don’t intend to use right now.

Adelson has said in an interview with The Associated Press that he simply wants the option. Sands reported $10.47 billion in long-term debt as of Dec. 31.

Adelson has said he is in talks with four groups interested in buying into the company, including two construction firms interested in financing and building two suspended hotel projects in Macau in exchange for ownership interests.

In 2008, Sands lost $177.2 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with net income of $116.7 million, or 30 cents per share, in 2007. The company’s revenue was $4.4 billion in 2008, compared with $2.95 billion in 2007.

The Associated Press formula for calculating executive compensation is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonuses, performance-related compensation, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and options granted during the year.

The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the SEC, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive’s compensation in the previous fiscal year.

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