In Australia, local casino operator The Star Entertainment Group Limited is reportedly hoping to attract more high-rolling players from Asia as a result of signing agreements that will see a pair of Hong Kong-based development firms acquire significant stakes in its business.
According to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, The Star Entertainment Group Limited is responsible for The Star Sydney, which overlooks Darling Harbour near the center of Australia’s largest city, along with Queensland’s The Star Gold Coast and The Treasury Brisbane and inked the share sale deals with Far East Consortium International Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited.
The newspaper reported that the agreements will see Brisbane-headquartered The Star Entertainment Group Limited receive approximately $376.5 million in exchange for each of the Asian firms acquiring a 4.99% shareholding.
The Star Entertainment Group Limited is currently in the midst of constructing its $1.9 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino, hotel and entertainment venue in partnership with Far East Consortium International Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited with the trio now reportedly due to additionally team up in a ‘marketing alliance’ that will seek to entice more VIP gamblers from Asia to visit Australia.
“The board welcomes Chow Tai Fook [Enterprises Limited] and Far East Consortium [International Limited] as shareholders in The Star [Entertainment Group Limited],” read a statement (pdf) from John O’Neill, Chairman for The Star Entertainment Group Limited. “Our expanded strategic partnership recognizes the strength of our relationships built over the last four years and the shared vision of investing in properties with valuable long-term licenses in sought-after destinations.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the deals, which remain subject to regulatory approvals, will see Far East Consortium International Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited each receive 45.8 million shares in The Star Entertainment Group Limited. The trio is moreover purportedly set to partner in order to construct up to five mixed-purpose towers on the Gold Coast while further developing The Star Sydney and pursuing other opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.
“This deal ensures a greater strategic and economic alignment of our collective interests and continues The Star [Entertainment Group Limited’s] commitment to deliver growth investments through a capital efficient structure,” read the statement from O’Neill.
Finally, the newspaper reported that Far East Consortium International Limited and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited are both due to also apply to the relevant gaming authorities of New South Wales and Queensland for permission to take their aggregate shareholding in The Star Entertainment Group Limited to over 10% but that this is not due to impact the current makeup of the Australian firm’s board of directors.
David Chiu, Chairman for Far East Consortium International Limited, proclaimed that the investment will help to ‘further leverage our considerable complementary capabilities’ and ‘maximize the long-term value’ of The Star Entertainment Group Limited’s venues in Queensland and Sydney while his counterpart at Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, Patrick Tsang, detailed that the venture ‘reflects our confidence in the creation of long-term value in destinations that have significant tourism appeal’.