Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd says it will pay nearly US$9.6 million to acquire 51 percent of Japan-based MSRD Corp Ltd, a company that owns a plot of land in the city of Miyakojima (pictured), on Miyako Island, part of the Okinawa prefecture. Suncity Group Holdings said in a Friday filing that it plans to develop a resort in the Japanese city.
Suncity Group Holdings told the stock exchange that the acquisition represented “a good opportunity” to further expand its tourism-related business and “to diversify its focus, in terms of geographical locations, from China to the East Asia region”.
The company said that MSRD Corp intends to build 40 villas with pool and a hotel tower with more than 100 rooms.
The plot of land – with an area of 108,799 square metres (356,952 sq feet) – is currently designated for use as “natural fields, windbreak forest/barrier, farmland, or public roads,” Suncity Group Holdings told the stock exchange.
It added: “The company intends to apply to Okinawa’s Legal Affair Bureau for conversion of its designated use for resort hotel development.”
The seller was identified in Friday’s filing as AIIA (HK) Corp Ltd, a company incorporated in Hong Kong. Two separate investors control respectively 39 percent and 10 percent of MSRD Corp, said Suncity Group Holdings.
The Hong Kong-listed company said the deal would be funded by financing from a company wholly owned by Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, an executive director and the chairman of Suncity Group Holdings. Mr Chau has previously made available to the company a facility in the principal amount of up to HKD1.5 billion (US$191.3 million), according to company documents.
In Friday’s filing, Suncity Group Holdings said the decision to acquire the land was based on the “continued increase” in Chinese visitors travelling to Japan and the fact that there are now direct flights from Hong Kong to Shimojishima Airport in Miyakojima, stated the company.
It added: “The group will continue to diversify its businesses to tourism-related business in Asian countries and grasp opportunities on the provision for hotel and integrated resort general consultancy services.”
In addition to 24 direct daily flights to Miyako Airport, the Shimojishima Airport commenced operations in March 2019, and two airlines have now up to 17 direct flights from Tokyo, Osaka and Hong Kong to the Shimojishima Airport per week, said the company.
Suncity Group Holdings said last week it made a loss of more than CNY1.25 billion (US$175.5 million) for the first half of the year, compared to a nearly CNY1.65-billion loss in the prior-year period.
The Suncity brand is best known for supplying high-value Chinese casino gamblers to the Asian market, but the listed company Suncity Group Holdings – which does not include any profit streams from Macau gambling junkets in its filed accounts – has been increasing its gaming investments into markets beyond Greater China. That is both in terms of new-build resorts such as in Vietnam; and in terms of deals to manage third-party-controlled properties under development in other markets, such as in Cambodia.
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