Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corp is to “repurchase and/or pre-pay [sic]” certain of its offshore private notes to an outstanding aggregate amount of US$1.33 billion, according to a filing to Jasdaq carrying Monday’s date.
They are the “Universal Entertainment Corporation offshore private notes” and the “Series 2: Universal Entertainment Corporation offshore private notes”. According to the filing, as of Tuesday, the combined outstanding amount of the notes to be repurchased was circa US$1.33 billion.
The expected date of the repurchases and/or voluntary early payments are, respectively, May 11, and May 14.
Universal Entertainment said the impact of the repurchase and early redemption initiative was “currently under assessment”.
The group said the background to its decision was the addition to its balance sheet of cash as the result of a settlement reached in early March between Aruze USA Inc, a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment, and U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. That deal saw the latter pledge to pay US$1.94 billion for Wynn Resorts stock attributable to Aruze USA – and a further approximately US$500 million – to end litigation regarding interest money allegedly owed by Wynn Resorts to Aruze USA. The dispute arose as a result of the 2012 forced redemption by Wynn Resorts – at discount to then market value – of the Aruze USA holding in the U.S. casino business.
“Pursuant to this settlement agreement, on March 30, 2018, the company group received the agreed settlement proceeds from Wynn Resorts,” said Universal Entertainment’s Monday filing.
It added that “as a result, in order to lighten interest burden through debt reduction,” the company commenced a process either to repurchase the target notes or pay them early.
The company flagged earlier this month a profit hike in financial year ending December 31, 2018 as a result of the settlement with Wynn Resorts.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China