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The Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

The Blackstone Group is in "advanced talks" to buy and lease back the Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas hotels and casinos from MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), per Bloomberg. No financial terms were disclosed, but an earlier Bloomberg report valued the combined properties at around $7 billion.

Why it matters: This would be Blackstone's largest bet on the Vegas strip, where it has a mixed history.

  • The firm paid around $1.7 billion for the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in 2014, and reportedly considered shopping it earlier this year with a $4 billion asking price.
  • But it also was part of disastrous pre-crisis deal for Harrah's, which later became known as Caesars Entertainment.

Lotta chips: Blackstone recently closed the largest real-estate private equity fund of all time, with $20.5 billion in commitments.

The bottom line: "Property sales free up cash for casino companies to expand while letting them continue to manage their resorts," per Bloomberg.

Go deeper

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have the held all three economic power positions in the federal government: The chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.

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Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.