Asian casino giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited has reportedly announced that it is prepared to spend up to $500 million so as to increase its majority stake in the operating vehicle behind the 1,600-room Studio City Macau.

According to reports from GGRAsia, Studio City International Holdings Limited was established as a joint venture between the Hong Kong-listed casino firm and investment vehicle New Cotai Holdings in 2006 before being tasked with actually running the impressive Macau development, which features 106,000 sq ft gaming floor alongside the world’s first figure-8 Ferris wheel.

Pricey proposition:

GGRAsia reported that Studio City International Holdings Limited recently revealed that it intends to offer existing investors the chance to buy an additional tranche of Class A shares featuring an individual price of $3.89. Although Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited already holds about 54.3% of this entity’s existing share capital, it purportedly proclaimed that will now seek to acquire ‘the maximum number of unsubscribed securities available for purchase’, which could end up costing it between $450 million to $500 million.

In-house intent:

Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited has reportedly long been interested in fully acquiring Studio City International Holdings Limited, which was established with New Cotai Holdings on a 60/40 basis, with the source also detailing that the finished offering is set to represent 99% of the Macau operating subordinate’s remaining share capital.

Cryptic colleague:

GGRAsia moreover reported that it so far remains unclear whether New Cotai Holdings with its 36.3% stake in Studio City International Holdings Limited will be participating in the upcoming share offer although the vendor did declare that its own MSC Cotai Limited subordinate had offered the American entity the ‘right to acquire an additional participation interest… at a price equivalent to the per Class A share price of the Class A private placements.’

Quarterly catastrophe:

Located along Macau’s world-famous Cotai Strip, the iconic Studio City Macau reportedly recorded a $9.4 million deficit in first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization. Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited purportedly pronounced that this shortfall had come after the venue chalked up a $96.4 million windfall for the comparable three-month period in 2019 and had been primarily down to ‘softer performance in all gaming segments.