Here are the firms crafting Blackstone's $5.65 bln Cosmopolitan sale

The logo of law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is seen outside of their office in Washington, D.C.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges offices in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Simpson Thacher advises longstanding client Blackstone
  • Weil guides repeat client MGM
  • Latham, Sklar Kirsh counsel other buyers

(Reuters) - Four law firms, including Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Weil Gotshal & Manges, said they were directing Blackstone Inc's deal to sell The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort and casino for $5.65 billion.

As part of the deal announced on Monday, Blackstone will build upon its relationship with MGM Resorts International, which will acquire the resort’s operations for more than $1.62 billion, according to separate press releases.

MGM will also ink a long-term lease with a partnership formed among Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, the Cherng Family Trust and the Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc, as part of the transaction. The trio is acquiring The Cosmopolitan’s real estate assets.

Blackstone’s longtime advisor, Simpson Thacher, is advising Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII LP, the fund that owns the assets. The firm’s team is led by real estate partners Gregory Ressa, Erik Quarfordt, Anthony King and Danielle Jackson.

Ressa and Quarfordt previously represented Blackstone on its $3.89 billion acquisition of Aria Resort and Casino and Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas from MGM. As part of that deal, MGM said in July that it would lease back both properties, which are part of the CityCenter Holdings complex.

Weil, MGM’s advisor on the CityCenter transactions, has returned to advise the company on The Cosmopolitan deal.

The Weil attorneys are led by mergers and acquisitions partner Michael Aiello. The team also includes M&A partner Sachin Kohli; real estate partners Michael Bond and Nellie Camerik; as well as real estate counsel Jannelle Seales and Robert Shmalo.

Investment firm Stonepeak has tapped a Latham & Watkins team led by real estate partners Michael Haas and Justin Elliott for guidance on the deal. Latham tax partners Ana O’Brien and Eric Cho are also providing legal advice.

Sklar Kirsh real estate partners Andrew Kirsh and Peter Fischer are guiding the Cherng Family Trust, which manages the finances of Panda Express founders Andrew & Peggy Cherng and their family.

The transactions are expected to close in early 2022.

The Blackstone fund’s financial advisors are Deutsche Bank Securities Inc and PJT Partners.

Read more:

Blackstone to sell The Cosmopolitan resort and casino for $5.65 billion

Weil, Simpson Thacher, Paul Hastings craft MGM Resorts' CityCenter deal

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Sierra Jackson reports on legal matters in major mergers and acquisitions, including deal work, litigation and regulatory changes.