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Entries in Sheldon Adelson (3)

Wednesday
Dec192012

The 10 Largest Fiscal Cliff Dividend Tax Winners

Jerome Favre/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While Congress and the White House negotiate a mix of tax increases and budget cuts, many firms decided to pay shareholders an early or special dividend ahead of an anticipated increase in the dividend tax rate.

Not surprisingly, the largest individual shareholders of these companies often sit on the board of directors, reaping millions of dollars in tax savings.

Wealth-X, an information research firm of ultra high-net worth individuals worth over $30 million, compiled a list of the 10 largest special dividend-paying companies based in the U.S. this year as of Dec. 12 and the tax savings their largest individual shareholders are receiving ahead of the fiscal cliff.

The dividend tax rate is currently at 15 percent but the president has proposed increasing it to upwards of 43.4 percent starting in 2013 to plug the ballooning trillion-dollar budget deficit.

All 10 individuals, led by Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, either sit on the board of directors, are senior executive directors, chairmen or CEOs of the listed companies.

In the fourth quarter, the total dividends received by these shareholders exceeded $2.1 billion, which is $602 million more than what they would receive should tax rates increase.

The combined wealth of the shareholders on the list is $110.4 billion, representing one fifth of the combined market capitalization of the top 10 largest dividend-paying companies.

The dividends received by the shareholders on the list represent 15 percent of the more than $14 billion payout by the top 10 companies:

  1. Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands: $1.2 billion
  2. Thomas Frist III, HCA: $497 million
  3. Lawrence Ellison, Oracle: $200 million
  4. Charles Johnson, Franklin Resources: $105 million
  5. Stephen Wynn, Wynn Resorts: $75 million
  6. Vincent Ryan, Iron Mountain: $29 million
  7. Russell Wight Jr., Alexander's: $27 million
  8. James Sinegal, Costco: $14 million
  9. Cornwell Appleby, Booz Allen Hamilton: $10 million
  10. James Walton, Walmart: $4 million

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov072012

Who Was the Biggest Financial Loser on Election Day? 

Creatas/Hemera/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson gambled more than $54 million on Tuesday's elections. And he lost.

The quixotic chairman of the Las Vegas Sands gaming company rose to the top of campaign giving in 2012, gaining notoriety for almost single-handedly staking the campaign of Republican primary contender Newt Gingrich and then continuing to make audacious contributions once Gingrich dropped out – with millions more going to GOP nominee Mitt Romney and two super PACs supporting his bid.

Tuesday, he emerged as arguably the single biggest loser of the campaign, financially speaking. In addition to investing in Gingrich and Romney, Adelson and his relatives donated to the U.S. House campaigns of Rep. Allan West of Florida and New Jersey Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and the Senate runs of Virginia's George Allen, Florida's Connie Mack, and Texas's David Dewhurst -- all lost. (Dewhurst never made it past the primary.) His sole consolation was helping fund the defeat of hometown nemesis Shelley Berkley, who lost her bid for a U.S. Senate seat.

Not that Adelson's likely to feel much of a sting. Adelson, 79, owns 49 percent of the Las Vegas Sands casino company, of which he is chairman. The company's operations in Macau and elsewhere in Asia have made it the world's leading gambling operation. His estimated net worth is north of $20.5 billion.

Throughout the campaign, there was widespread speculation about his motives for donating so much this cycle. Adelson is a major supporter of Israel and Israel-related causes. He has also been embroiled in a controversy surrounding his company's sizable operation in Macau, a Chinese island that has outpaced Las Vegas as a source of gambling revenue.

ABC News previously reported that Adelson's company has been the subject of a criminal investigation for the last year by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged bribery of foreign officials, according to corporate documents. A separate civil lawsuit filed by a former Sands executive has further alleged that Adelson ordered him to keep quiet about the casinos' purported "involvement with Chinese organized crime groups." Adelson has publicly dismissed the allegations as frivolous.

In its filings with the SEC, Adelson's company says it became aware of the investigation in February 2011. The company said it "intends to cooperate with the investigation." At a gaming forum in 2011, Adelson said the lawsuit "is not a serious case" and that the federal investigations would find no wrongdoing. "When the smoke clears, I am 1,000 percent positive that there won't be any fire below it."

Sands corporate spokesman Ron Reese did not return messages left at his office Wednesday.

If Adelson's goal in donating so much to the 2012 campaigns was to open a channel of access to high-level federal officials (he has denied he is seeking access), experts said he is now safe in assuming that effort has failed.

"I don't think he has bridges to the Obama administration," said Bill Allison, who follows campaign giving for the Sunlight Foundation.

"One reason we always think people give, especially that much money, is they want access," Allison said. "They want an appointment or an ambassadorship. They want the ability to pick up the phone and call the White House. He definitely won't have that. He has cut himself off by coming out so strongly on one side."

But will he be subject to reprisals, having put so much money behind an effort to defeat President Obama?

A White House spokesman responded to that question succinctly: "No."

Allison said he does not believe Adelson's lost wager will dissuade future wealthy political enthusiasts from throwing large amounts of money behind a political candidate.

"I have no doubt," Allison said, "that some other billionaire will feel like he can make a huge impact on the political system with a small fraction of his fortune."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov202010

Vegas Billionaire Pummeled by Recession Claws His Way Back

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Las Vegas is a place where many bet high but few come out on top ... and then there's Sheldon Adelson, who proves that old Vegas saying, "The house always wins." The self-made billionaire behind the Las Vegas Sands Corporation likes things big, including his checkbook.

Before the economy fell apart two years ago, Adelson's company was making an estimated $20 million per day from his hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. By 2007, he was worth an estimated $40 billion and was No. 3 on the Forbes list of richest Americans.

But when the market crashed in 2008, his company's market value plummeted more than 90 percent, at one point losing as much as $1,000 per second. To prevent the company from going under, Adelson and his family invested $1 billion into the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. That $1 billion bailed out the cash-strapped company, but much of the senior management was fired.

Even in the depth of the financial crisis, Adelson never backed off from a planned multi-billion-dollar project in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is now open and in its first full quarter of operations, it generated $242 million in profits. His Las Vegas properties, unlike many on the strip, are thriving as well. For the third quarter of this year, they booked record profits of $645 million.

Adelson isn't quite back to his 2007 heyday, but he's working on it: He dropped to No. 26 on the Forbes list in 2009 and now stands at No. 13.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio