A Star Entertainment-led international joint venture is in the process of wrapping up a deal to pay as much as A$160 million ($121.7 million) for the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, a beachfront resort in Gold Coast, Queensland, according to The Australian.
Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) working in conjunction with retailer Chow Tai Fook and Hong Kong developer Far East Consortium is hoping to see the Sheraton revamped and designed in such a way as to complement its Queen’s Wharf development and the Jupiters Hotel and Casino located nearby on the Broadbeach Island. The deal, a repeat of the $3 billion Brisbane Queen’s Wharf joint venture, would strengthen the trio’s presence in the Queensland tourism industry, something Star views as necessary to its plans to increase the number of international visitors to its gambling facilities.,
Australia Wattle Development, a relatively unknown Chinese-backed group, owns the hotel, while Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which Marriott International recently acquired, operates the beachfront property. It is believed that Star and its Hong Kong partners are eager to overhaul the iconic property, but for now, the plans are at a preliminary stage.
The deal is the latest in the casino war with James Packer’s Crown Resorts Limited (ASX:CWN). If the acquisition is successful, it could be an end to any plans Packer’s company had run a second casino on the Gold Coast. Packer’s Crown was in the process of negotiating with Chinese-backed ASF to do just that.
Meanwhile, after 18 of its representatives were arrested in China last weekend, Crown Resorts Limited has reportedly confirmed recent speculation that it intends to sell-off more of its international holdings.