Asian casino operator Donaco International Ltd is proposing to change its name to “Pan Asian Leisure Ltd”. The plan is among proposals due to be put to the shareholders at the annual general meeting (AGM) on November 29.
The name swap would be “a public statement that we are leaving the past behind,” said a letter from the board filed on Monday with the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The financial performance of the company during the past two financial years has been unacceptable,” it added.
There will also be a proposal at the annual meeting to replace the entire current board, but that is not part of the reboot effort of the existing management.
On October 11 the firm said it considered the board change request an invalid one. But the company stated nonetheless that its 19.25 percent shareholder One Nut Road Ltd – a subsidiary of Argyle Street Management Ltd, an institutional investor – had backed holding such a board meeting in order to clear the air over the matter.
In its latest filing Donaco said that Patrick Tan Teck Lee – one of the people proposing himself as one of a new five-strong board upon a removal of the current board – has had business dealings with one of three Thai entrepreneurs with whom Donaco has had a long-running dispute over the Star Vegas Resort and Club in Poipet, Cambodia.
“In the board’s view, the decline in [Donaco] financial performance is largely due to the breaches of the non-compete agreement by the Thai vendors of the Star Vegas business,” noted Monday’s filing.
The company has launched legal proceedings against the Thai vendors, and an arbitration claim is ongoing in Singapore.
“Expert witnesses have valued the company’s claim in the amount of US$240 million,” noted the filing inviting stockholders to vote at the annual meeting.
It further stated that in “retaliation” for this claim, the Thai vendor parties had launched a number of claims in the Cambodian courts, which had “caused disruption to the Star Vegas business”.
Donaco said: “In particular, the Thai vendor has sought to terminate the registered perpetual lease of the land on which the Star Vegas business sits.”
In Monday’s filing the casino group suggested it had “addressed the concerns” expressed by a proxy advisory firm regarding last year’s executive remuneration report.
It stated: “In particular, the total remuneration paid to key management personnel was reduced by 48 percent during financial year 2019, compared to 2018.”
It added: “Since the applicable key performance indicators were not met, two executives forfeited 80 percent to 90 percent, and the others forfeited 100 percent, of their potential short-term incentive, and all executives forfeited 100 percent of their potential long-term incentive.”
Last month Paul Arbuckle, the recently-appointed group chief executive said in comments prefacing Donaco’s report for financial year ending June 30, that the firm had made “operational improvements” in the three months ending September 30 this year, that were already resulting in “improved financial performance”.
Last week Donaco – which also runs a casino in Vietnam – said in a business update filed with the Australian bourse that the group’s overall results in the three months to September 30 showed “very strong improvement” from the prior-year period.
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Ministry of Health of Singapore