Asian casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Limited has reportedly announced that it intends to unveil “a new corporate entity” after the completion of a deal that will see Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Limited assume a majority stake in the joint venture.
According to a report from GGRAsia, Melco International Development Limited, which is headed by Hong Kong-based businessman Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, agreed an arrangement on December 15 that will see it purchase an additional 13.4% stake in Melco Crown Entertainment Limited from Australian firm Crown Resorts Limited.
Upon completion of the deal, Melco International Development Limited will reportedly hold 51.3% of Melco Crown Entertainment Limited while Crown Resorts Limited’s stake is to be reduced to only 14%.
“With Melco [International Development Limited] and Lawrence [Ho] taking majority shares now, we are all thrilled and looking forward to a new corporate entity unveiling this new chapter of the company and reflecting the new energy as well,” Maggie Ma, Corporate Communications And Public Relations Senior Vice-President for Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, told GGRAsia.
A filing from Nasdaq-listed Melco Crown Entertainment Limited to the United States Securities And Exchange Commission reportedly explained that Melbourne-based Crown Resorts Limited will be entitled to ask for payment following a transition period if properties controlled by Melco Crown Entertainment Limited desire to continue using the “Crown” name. One of the hotels at the joint venture’s City Of Dreams Macau casino resort currently carries the moniker Crown Towers while the City Of Dreams Manila development in the Philippines has a hotel christened Crown Towers Manila.
The filing reportedly also declared that Crown Resorts Limited and its subsidiaries will be given the right to terminate any license granted under intellectual property agreements including trademarks if its direct and indirect shareholding in Melco Crown Entertainment Limited falls below 25%.
If such a termination is exercised, GGRAsia reported that Crown Resorts Limited is to be required to grant Melco Crown Entertainment Limited a “non-exclusive, non-transferable and royalty free license to continue to use the “Crown” name and enjoy the other intellectual property rights granted under the relevant “Crown” intellectual property agreement for a transition period”.
“The transition period shall be a period of one year following Crown [Resorts Limited] or its affiliate giving notice of termination in respect of the use of the “Crown” name and other intellectual property rights as part of the branding in relation to the City Of Dreams Macau and the City Of Dreams Manila properties,” read the filing.