Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | 2:59 p.m.
SBE, a privately held hospitality company that operates hotels, restaurants and nightclubs around the world, today announced it is in “advanced discussions to merge Hakkasan Group into the SBE family.”
SBE founder and CEO Sam Nazarian, who opened the SLS Las Vegas casino resort at the north Strip site of the former Sahara in 2014, said in a statement: “SBE would welcome Hakkasan’s global portfolio of prestigious restaurants and best in class nightlife assets into SBE’s international platform of lifestyle hospitality and entertainment assets to create the most dynamic hospitality, residential, restaurant and entertainment company in the industry.”
Nazarian added the merger is expected to close within 60 days.
SBE was established in 2002 and manages 23 hotels and residences in nine markets and many more entertainment and food and beverage outlets, including Las Vegas’ Delano hotel at Mandalay Bay; Bazaar Meat, Cleo, Umami Burger and Katsuya restaurants at SLS Las Vegas; Double Barrel Roadhouse at Monte Carlo; and Hyde nightclub and lounge at Bellagio and T-Mobile Arena. SBE and Nazarian no longer control SLS after pulling out in 2015 and allowing majority partner Stockbridge Capital to take over.
Late last year, SBE acquired Morgans Hotel Group, accelerating rumors that Nazarian was looking to re-enter the Las Vegas market in a big way after SLS.
The Wall Street Journal reports that terms of the merger were not disclosed, but the combined SBE-Hakkasan company would have an equity value of about $1 billion. It also reports that Hakkasan Group president Nick McCabe confirmed the deal but declined to comment further.
Hakkasan Group is one of the most dominant nightlife operators on the Las Vegas Strip, managing nightclubs including Hakkasan at MGM Grand, Omnia at Caesars Palace and Jewel at Aria, as well as several restaurants, dayclubs and lounges. Hakkasan operates more than 50 properties around the world and, like SBE, has been in expansion mode in recent months.