In Macau, the long-running legal battle over who owns the vacant Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel has reportedly been resolved after a local court ruled in favor of an entity known as, Empresa Hoteleira de Macau.
According to a Friday report from MacauBusiness.com, citing information obtained by the Macau News Agency, the territory’s Court of First Instance issued a decision on June 15 that gave ownership of the venue to Empresa Hoteleira de Macau over the objections of rival firm, Victory Success Holdings Limited.
The two companies have reportedly been contesting possession of the hotel since going their separate ways in 2012, with the most recent legal action having been initiated by the man behind Empresa Hoteleira de Macau, Ng Man Sun, amid claims that his firm has owned the Taipa venue since 1996. The local casino magnate also serves as Chairman for Hong Kong-listed, Amax International Holdings, which holds a 24.8% stake in the former operator of the property’s, Greek Mythology Casino, Greek Mythology (Macau) Entertainment Group Corporation Limited.
MacauBusiness.com reported that the Chinese-language Macao Daily newspaper had published a story in 2016 announcing that the previous year had seen Empresa transfer ownership of the property to Victory Success Holdings Limited in order to settle a debt. However, Ng dismissed the claims soon after by stating that the declaration had been improperly made by the rival firm in order to influence the outcome of the ownership lawsuit.
Last year saw Empresa Hoteleira de Macau return its license for the Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel, which was previously known as the New Century Hotel, to the Macao Government Tourism Office before Andrew Lo, Executive Director for Victory Success Holdings Limited parent Suncity Group Holdings Limited, declared in May that his firm would be taking over the Beijing Imperial Hotel in advance of securing a new certification.
MacauBusiness.com reported that Ng had immediately countered by obtaining an injunction against Suncity from the Court of First Instance that had ordered the rival firm to fully vacate the property, which was shuttered by the Macao Government Tourism Office in July of 2016 for failing to complete a series of renovations by an agreed deadline.
In its most recent ruling, the Court of First Instance invalidated the alleged 2016 transfer because Victory Success Holdings Limited had only ‘pretended to have held a general assembly meeting’ to approve the deal. As such, it judged that Beijing Imperial has been owned by Empresa Hoteleira de Macau since 2015 with the firm having paid all security, electricity, rent and water expenses.