After earlier this week revealing that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts owes it approximately $347.4 million, Asian casino operator Genting Group has now reportedly announced that it has sold its remaining 5.6% stake in Australian compatriot The Star Entertainment Group Limited for $181.9 million.
According to a report from the Reuters news service, Kuala Lumpur-listed Genting Group disposed of its 46.4 million shares in Brisbane-based The Star Entertainment Group Limited priced at $3.93 each via a block trade yesterday evening and intends to use the proceeds for general working capital and expenditures that could include “new investments should suitable opportunities arise”.
The sale reportedly ended a five-year relationship between the pair while it also prompted the value of shares in Sydney-listed The Star Entertainment Group Limited to climb by 3.52% to close at $4.11, which represented their highest price since May 29. These had lost 13% of their value since October after the arrests in Shanghai of employees of competitor Crown Resorts Limited led to fears concerning the future of the lucrative Asian high-roller market.
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 The Treasury Casino and Hotel in Brisbane while a report from The Australian newspaper alleged that most of Genting Group’s shareholding had been acquired by local investments and trustees group Perpetual Limited.
Genting Group had earlier received regulatory approvals to acquire up to 23% of The Star Entertainment Group Limited, which additionally runs Queensland’s Jupiters Hotel and Casino Gold Coast, but it instead decided to reduce its stake and had offloaded some 6.6 million shares since July of last year prior to yesterday’s sale.
The Star Entertainment Group Limited is in the midst of planning a $1.9 billion casino, hotel and entertainment project for the Queen’s Wharf precinct of Brisbane and earlier explained that it expects to begin accepting construction bids from next year.
“Perpetual [Limited] has long held an interest in The Star Entertainment Group Limited and the gaming industry in Australia,” read a note from Charlie Green, Director for equity research firm Hunter Green Institutional Broking. “[The Star Entertainment Group Limited] is just swapping a long-term investor for another long-term investor. The Star Entertainment Group Limited is about to spend a heap of money in Brisbane on Queen’s Wharf and Perpetual [Limited] obviously sees value for its unit holders.”