The chairman of casino investor Landing International Development Ltd, Yang Zhihui, has launched a formal cash offer to acquire all the issued shares in the company that he does not already own. The offer was announced in a Thursday filing by Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development.
Landing International Ltd, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and controlled by Mr Yang, on Wednesday had acquired an additional 5.26-percent stake in Landing International Development, increasing its stake in the Hong Kong-listed firm to 51.41 percent.
Under Hong Kong’s Takeovers Code, Landing International is required to make a mandatory unconditional cash offer for all the issued shares of Landing International Development that it does not own. According to Thursday’s filing, public shareholders hold an aggregate of 59,953,375,634 shares in the Hong Kong-listed firm.
Landing International has made an offer of HKD0.075 (US$0.0096) per share of Landing International Development, amounting to an aggregate value of approximately HKD4.5 billion.
The offeror said it intends to finance the deal with a loan facility granted by Kingston Securities Ltd and its own financial resources. Landing International has pledged nearly 13.6 million shares that it currently controls in Landing International Development as well as the shares to be acquired in favour of Kingston Securities as collaterals.
Originally a real estate developer in mainland China, Landing International Development has for several years been pursuing casino business in the Asia Pacific region.
A South Korea casino hotel complex – called Jeju Shinhwa World, on the holiday island of Jeju, and developed and operated by Landing International – opened some of its hotel accommodation in late April.
The Hong Kong-listed firm already owns and operates a casino on Jeju Island, branded Landing Casino, located at the Hyatt Regency Jeju Hotel. In 2016, the company acquired Les Ambassadeurs Club and Casino, an upmarket gaming venue in London in the United Kingdom.
In Thursday’s filing, Landing International said it considers the acquisition of additional shares “an opportunity for it to increase its stake and consolidate control” in Landing International Development.
“Following completion of the offer, the offeror intends that the group will continue to operate its business in substantially its current state,” said the Hong Kong-listed firm. “However, the offeror reserves the right to make any changes that it deems necessary or appropriate to the group’s businesses and operations to increase the value of the group,” it added.
Landing International Development said the offeror intends to keep the company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange assuming a successful closing of the offer. According to the listing rules, if fewer than 25 percent of issued shares in a Hong Kong-listed firm are held by public shareholders, the city’s bourse has the power to suspend trading in a stock.
“The offeror will take appropriate steps to ensure that sufficient public float exists in the shares after the close of the offer,” said Landing International Development in its filing.
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"Our main focus is just making sure – and particularly within Australia – to the maximum extent possible, that we can have uniformity [among different jurisdictions]"
Chief executive of the Australia-based Gaming Technologies Association