Philippines-based casino investor Bloomberry Resorts Corp has refuted a claim it agreed to extend the closing date for disposal of the Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino (pictured) on Jeju Island in South Korea.
The claim of deadline extension had been made by a representative of the previously identified suitor for the property, junket investor Iao Kun Group Holding Co Ltd, during a conference call on Thursday to discuss the latter’s second-quarter results.
“Bloomberry Resorts Corp would like to clarify that it has not agreed to the extension of the closing date for the said transaction with Iao Kun,” said the casino operating firm in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday.
Bloomberry had announced in June that Iao Kun planned to acquire the venue for a total consideration of KRW117.5 billion (US$106.3 million). It added there was an expectation the deal would be closed within 45 days of the June 23 announcement.
Jim Preissler, director of Iao Kun had said, on his firm’s second-quarter earnings conference call on Thursday, that the company was still “working to finalise” the finance agreements to complete the deal. “In the interim, we and the seller have agreed to extend the required closing dates to the acquisition,” Mr Preissler had added.
Iao Kun reported a net loss of US$104.4 million year-on-year in the second quarter, a widening of the loss recorded in the prior-year quarter.
Since the second quarter reporting period, Iao Kun-related junket operations have been halted at three Macau VIP rooms: one at Sands Cotai Central, a property of Sands China Ltd; and one each at respectively, Galaxy Macau and StarWorld Hotel, properties of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
The moves coincided with what Lam Man Pou, chairman of Iao Kun, has described as “a strategic review of our operations to reduce expenses and continue to preserve our capital”.
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"VIP growth [in Macau] is roaring back on the heels of last year’s economic stimulus – but we think this could stall once the effect of the stimulus and the Chinese housing bubble wears off – as it did in 2013-14"
Cameron McKnight and Robert Shore
Analysts at Wells Fargo Securities