A subsidiary of American casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corporation has reportedly reached a deal to create a new joint venture that intends to take over control of the $739 million plan to construct and operate a Caesar’s-branded integrated casino resort on Yeongjong Island near to the South Korean city of Incheon.
According to reports from Asia Gaming Brief and GGRAsia citing filings with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Caesars Korea Holding Company, which is owned by Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation, has agreed to partner with a subsidiary of Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited in order “to develop, own and operate” the planned foreigner-only Caesar’s Casino Incheon.
Hong Kong-listed Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited develops, sells and leases property in mainland China while additionally providing management and hotel operation services. The agreed plan is to reportedly see its R&F Properties (Hong Kong) Company Limited subsidiary join with Caesars Korea Holding Company in order to purchase the 50% stake in Caesar’s Casino Incheon parent LOCZ Korea Corporation currently held by real estate developer Lippo Limited via its Lippo Worldwide Investments Limited subordinate and the OUE International Holdings Private Limited business of Singaporean counterpart OUE Limited.
The Hong Kong filings reportedly explained that both parties are prepared to spend $30.5 million in order to create the joint venture by March 10, 2017, while potential further equity contributions for each in the purchase of the 50% stake in LOCZ Korea Corporation could run to $110 million although this would be divided between four tranches.
Lippo Limited revealed in March that it was interested in selling its stake in LOCZ Korea Corporation before unexpectedly filing a “memorandum of implementation” on August 19 publicizing the proposed disposal of these interests to a joint venture being established separately by Caesars Korea Holding Company and an unidentified independent third-party investor.
“Caesars [Korea Holding Company] and R&F [Properties (Hong Kong) Company Limited] will pursue the grant of the final licence by the Ministry Of Culture, Sports And Tourism upon completion of the construction of the integrated resort,” read a filing from Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited.
The planned Caesar’s Casino Incheon is due to sit on 10.6 acres of land and 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, which was first announced in January of 2013, would be open in time for the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in nearby Pyeongchang but these plans soon ran into unspecified delays.
“The joint venture with Caesars [Korea Holding Company] provides an opportunity for the group to further enhance its capabilities in the development and operation of entertainment-focused integrated resorts in addition to creating a strong foothold in [South] Korea for future real estate development opportunities,” read the filing from Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited.
If ever brought to fruition, Caesar’s Casino Incheon could be one of three large-scale foreigner-only casino developments for the 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 Inspire 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.