Hong Kong-listed real estate developer Lippo Ltd is closer to exit a consortium – that includes U.S.-based casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp – proposing a gaming project for Incheon, South Korea, after a potential new investor for the scheme was identified on Monday.
The new investor was on Monday identified as R&F Properties (HK) Co Ltd, a subsidiary of mainland China real estate developer Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd.
In a filing on Tuesday, Lippo said it was still negotiating the disposal of its stake in LOCZ Korea Corp, the firm responsible for the development, construction and operation of the yet-to-be-built casino resort.
The other partners in the LOCZ Korea consortium include Caesars Korea Holding Co LLC, a firm wholly owned by Caesars Entertainment, and OUE International Holdings Pte Ltd, a company that is wholly owned by Singapore real estate firm OUE Ltd. Lippo is the latter’s controlling shareholder.
“The outcome of the exit negotiations is dependent upon a separate set of negotiations between Caesars Korea and the [new] investor,” Lippo said in the latest filing. South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism already had given a “conditional approval” for the proposed change of shareholder structure, added Lippo.
R&F Properties (HK) entered into an agreement with Caesars Korea to create a joint venture “to develop, own and operate” the casino resort in Incheon, Guangzhou R&F Properties said in a Monday filing.
Guangzhou R&F Properties said that upon completion of the agreement, R&F Properties (HK) and Caesars Korea would each have a 50 percent interest in a joint venture company. The joint venture would then acquire LOCZ Korea. The initial deal to set up the joint venture is expected to be concluded by March 10, 2017.
In Tuesday’s filing, Lippo said that the negotiations to dispose of its entire stake – including OUE International’s stake – in LOCZ Korea “remain ongoing”. “Its conclusion may be dependent upon the completion of the agreement” between Caesars Korea and R&F Properties (HK), Lippo stated.
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Chairman of Hong Kong-listed casino investor NagaCorp