Hong Kong-listed real estate developer Lippo Limited has announced that it is still engaged in talks with Caesars Entertainment Corporation regarding the disposal of its interests in a joint venture that wants to bring a casino to the South Korean city of Incheon.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the LOCZ Korea Corporation joint venture was first announced in March of 2014 and hopes to construct the Caesar’s Casino Incheon development complete with a casino although no construction has yet begun despite its subsequent signing of a conditional $95.9 million land purchase deal.
Parties in LOCZ Korea Corporation include Caesars Korea Holding Company, which is owned by Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation, and Lippo Limited subordinate Lippo Worldwide Investments Limited. GGRAsia reported that a third member of the joint venture is thought to be Singaporean real estate firm OUE Limited via its OUE International Holdings Private Limited venture.
After revealing in March that it was considering selling its stake in LOCZ Korea Corporation, Lippo Limited unexpectedly filed a “memorandum of implementation” on August 19 publicizing the proposed disposal of interests itself and OUE International Holdings Private Limited hold in the entity to a joint venture to be established separately by Caesars Korea Holding Company and an unidentified independent third-party investor.
In its most recent filing released on Tuesday, Lippo Limited reportedly stated that while “it was anticipated the exit agreement would be entered into within November of 2016, the exit negotiations are continuing and their outcome is dependent upon a separate set of negotiations between Caesars Korea [Holding Company] and the investor”.
The filing reportedly also declared that Lippo Limited believes these unrelated negotiations to be “ongoing” and that it was “unlikely” an exit agreement would be entered into this month.
GGRAsia reported that the 10.6-acre Incheon casino venture was described in 2014 as a $739 million scheme that would feature 1.61 million sq ft of gross floor space with all gaming duties managed by Caesars Korea Holding Company. 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 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.