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Kerkorian to explore possible sale of MGM shares

The private investment arm of billionaire financier Kirk Kerkorian said Friday it may "explore potential transactions" involving its 27 percent stake in MGM Resorts International.

Los Angeles-based Tracinda Corp., in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it "occasionally receives inquiries" about its shares of MGM Resorts, which operates 10 Strip hotel-casinos including the 67-acre CityCenter project, and properties in Detroit, Mississippi and Macau.

Kerkorian, 93, is the company’s founder and a member of MGM Resorts’ board of directors. He was the controlling shareholder with more than 50 percent of MGM Resorts’ outstanding share until a 2009 stock offering reduced his stake.

Last year, Tracinda participated in another MGM Resorts’ stock offering, cutting its stake by 32 million shares. Tracinda collected about $400 million in the transaction.

"Tracinda continues to believe that there is substantial value in the assets of MGM Resorts and that the company is a good long-term investment," the firm said in the filing. "However, from time to time, Tracinda may explore potential transactions. Tracinda may ultimately not enter into any transaction."

The reason for the filing was unclear.

Tracinda currently owns about 131.2 million shares of MGM Resorts, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The current value is $1.9 billion. Prior to the recession, Kerkorian’s stake was worth as much as $15 billion.

Shares of MGM Resorts closed at $14.49 on Friday, down 71 cents or 4.67 percent.

MGM Resorts spokesman Alan Feldman said the company doesn’t comment on the actions of individual shareholders. The company was unaware of Tracinda’s actions until the filing took place with the SEC.

In the filing, Tracinda said it "monitors its investment in the company by, among other things, contacting company management to address operations and market conditions."

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871.