In Australia and casino operator Aquis Entertainment Limited has reportedly signed an agreement to offload its Casino Canberra property to Capital Leisure and Entertainment Proprietary Limited for approximately $35.85 million.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Canberra-headquartered firm recently agreed a share purchase deal that is to see the subordinate of local hospitality giant Oscars Hotels Australia Proprietary Limited acquire the entire shareholding in its own Casino Canberra Limited operating arm. The source detailed that this arrangement, which could be completed by as soon as the end of June subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals, would then allow the seller to pursue other business opportunities.
Allison Gallaugher serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Casino Canberra Limited and she reportedly disclosed that Capital Leisure and Entertainment Proprietary Limited intends to fund the acquisition on a debt and cash-free basis. Nevertheless, she purportedly explained that has also arranged to bequeath her firm some $2.06 million in cash so as to help it meet an unspecified number of casino regulatory requirements.
Gallaugher reportedly stated…
“This transaction provides considerable value to the company and its shareholders and it recognizes the attractive operating performance of a business that has continued to trade well since re-opening after the coronavirus lockdowns. As an employee of Casino Canberra Limited, I am also very excited about the future and working with Oscars Hotels Australia Proprietary Limited on the continual improvement of our business.”
Aquis Entertainment Limited purportedly spent just over$5 million in 2014 in order to purchase the ageing Casino Canberra before submitting plans the very next year that were to have seen the venue transformed via the addition of luxury shops, high-end restaurants and two hotels alongside a revitalized gaming floor offering up to 500 slots. However, Inside Asian Gaming reported that this plan was ultimately denied in December of 2018 owing to regulatory uncertainty and financing issues in addition to local laws that forbid the enterprise from operating that many slots.
For its part and Oscars Hotels Australia Proprietary Limited is already responsible for a portfolio of luxury hotels and lounges including northern Queensland’s four-star Palm Bay Resort and the similarly well-appointed Beachcomber Hotel and Resort in central New South Wales. Mario Gravanis serves as a director for the Sydney-headquartered firm and he reportedly expressed excitement at the prospects of being able to take over the running of a Canberra facility that has been in operation for nearly 28 years.
A statement from Gravanis reportedly read…
“We will be working closely with Aquis Entertainment Limited over the coming months to satisfy the necessary conditions precedent with minimal disruption to the business and look forward to working with the Casino Canberra team in the future.”