The Australian operator of Southeast Asian casinos Donaco International Ltd says it will hold an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders after three of them called for a shake-up of the board.
Donaco told the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday that it had received a notice from shareholders Spenceley Management Pty Ltd – as trustee for, respectively, the Spenceley Family Trust and the Spenceley Family Superannuation – and Antonia Caroline Collopy calling for an extraordinary general meeting to consider resolutions to remove directors Joey Lim Keong Yew and Ben Lim Keong Hoe from the board.
The company said it would duly hold the meeting, as required by law, within the next two months.
Mr Joey Lim was formerly a managing director and chief executive of Donaco. He was the chief executive and managing director of the company until March 19 when his employment was terminated “with immediate effect”. During his absence, Mr Ben Lim stepped in as acting CEO. The brothers are scions of the family that founded Malaysia’s casino conglomerate Genting.
Earlier this month, Donaco announced that the Australian Takeovers Panel had found that last December’s acquisition of 9.71 percent of the company by OL Master (Singapore Fund 1) Pte Ltd had been made in “unacceptable” circumstances.
The Donaco announcement said the written finding by the panel remarked on part in the deal played by Mr Joey Lim and his brother, whom the finding did not identify by name.
The Takeovers Panel said the market had not been aware of the deal to sell 9.71 percent of the company, which had involved a company linked to Mr Joey Lim, and the transaction must now be handled by the regulator.
Donaco controls gaming facilities in border towns adjacent to Thailand and mainland China, countries where casinos are illegal. The company has been engaged in a dispute with several Thai businessmen that formerly owned the Star Vegas Resort in Cambodia that specialises in serving customers from across the border.
Donaco reported a loss after tax of AUD124.5 million (US$88.4 million) for the financial year ended June 30, which took into account a non-cash impairment charge of AUD143.9 million in the value of the licence at the Star Vegas – a consequence of the ongoing dispute. In late February, the firm said it had narrowed its loss for the six months to December 31, last year.
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”I do not believe that this event [the collapse of a under-construction building in Sihanoukville] will slow down the issuance of [gaming] licences. Market forces will probably dictate the process as developers evaluate projected future demand for gaming in the region”
Senior partner at business consultancy Global Market Advisors