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Las Vegas

Las Vegas nightclub operator Light Group sold

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David Guetta performs at Haze in Aria at CityCenter on Jan. 2, 2010.
Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage

Morgans Hotel Group Co. of New York, a former manager of and investor in the Hard Rock Las Vegas hotel-casino, is returning to the city with the purchase of a controlling interest in restaurant and nightclub operator the Light Group.

Morgans on Thursday said it’s buying a 90 percent stake in the Light Group for $46.5 million in a combination of $28.5 million in cash at closing and the rest to be paid upon the achievement of certain financial goals.

The Light Group has a collection of restaurants and nightclubs at MGM Resorts properties such as Haze nightclub at Aria, the Bank at the Bellagio and Brand steakhouse at the Monte Carlo.

Its former Jet nightclub at the Mirage is reopening as 1 0AK on New Year’s Eve.

“We believe the acquisition of the Light Group will position us to increase our food and beverage profits, drive average daily rate growth at existing hotels and win and service new management agreements,” Morgans CEO Michael Gross said in a statement.

He said the Light Group has management contracts producing some $7.7 million of annual EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. He said the deal would immediately boost earnings for Morgans.

Andrew Sasson, the founder and chairman of the Light Group, will join the Morgans board of directors. Andy Masi will remain as the Light Group’s CEO.

Morgans earlier this year lost its management deal for the Las Vegas Hard Rock hotel-casino after the Hard Rock defaulted on debt and was turned over to lenders.

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