After announcing a year ago that it intended to withdraw from a joint venture that was hoping to bring a casino to the South Korean city of Incheon, real estate developer Lippo Limited has now fully exited the project and received $12.2 million in compensation.
Hong Kong-listed Lippo Limited revealed that it offloaded its stake in LOCZ Korea Corporation to a joint venture comprised of Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Chinese firm Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited while stating that the compensation amount had included all previous advances it made in regards to the proposed Caesars Casino Incheon development.
The 10.6-acre Incheon casino venture was described in 2014 as a $739 million scheme that would offer 1.61 million sq ft of gross floor space with all gaming duties managed by Caesars Korea Holding Company, which is owned by Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation. It had been hoped that the development would be open in time for the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in nearby Pyeongchang but these plans soon ran into unspecified delays.
If ever brought to fruition, the LOCZ Korea Corporation project could be one of three large-scale foreigner-only casino developments for the Incheon area alongside the Paradise City endeavor from local firm Paradise Company Limited and Japanese pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Incorporated, which is scheduled to open by the end of April, while the Inspired Integrated Resort scheme from the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority in partnership with South Korean chemicals manufacturer KCC Corporation and Incheon International Airport Corporation is set to welcome its first players in 2020.
Lippo Limited explained that it took the decision to dispose of its stake in LOCZ Korea Corporation due to a number of uncertainties concerning the acquisition of land for the Caesars Casino Incheon development along with whether the finished project would ever be granted a casino license.
“Additionally, members of the consortium were unable to agree and finalize the investment in the project, the form that the company’s investment should take and the terms of the definitive agreements governing the project,” read a statement from Lippo Limited. “In view of the above uncertainties, the board considers that the exit is beneficial to the group as it will release the capital that had been tied up in the project over the past few years for use for general corporate purposes of the group. The board believes that the terms of the exit as a whole are fair and reasonable and in the interest of the shareholders of the company.”