Macau-based gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd is acquiring a 5-percent stake, for EUR40 million (US$43.9 million), in Monaco casino firm Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Étrangers à Monaco, also known as SBM.
“This is a minority strategic investment into SBM shares and we are not seeking to purchase more shares,” Galaxy Entertainment said in a statement posted on its website.
The firm added: “This is the first step in an exciting partnership with SBM, and we look forward to working closely with SBM for our mutual benefit. We will be able to share more details on the potential scope for future collaboration in due course.”
Galaxy Entertainment announced the deal on July 25. This is the firm’s first significant gaming investment outside of Macau. The company is also putting RMB10 billion (US$1.6 billion) into a fully-owned non-gaming development on the mainland’s Hengqin Island next door to Macau, to be focused on sport and leisure, Galaxy Entertainment’s chairman, Lui Che Woo, has previously announced.
Monaco-based SBM is listed on the Euronext Paris securities market, France’s main bourse. SBM’s casino properties comprise: Casino de Monte-Carlo (pictured); Casino Café de Paris; Sun Casino; and Monte-Carlo Bay Casino.
The firm’s portfolio also includes several hotel properties: Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo; Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo; Monte-Carlo Beach; Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort; Villa La Vigie; and Villas du Sporting.
Galaxy Entertainment acquired the 5-percent stake from the state of Monaco, a principality on the Mediterranean coast of southern Europe that is bordered by France. “Given the scale and size of Galaxy Entertainment, this is a relatively small investment,” the Macau-based gaming operator said.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury-goods maker, is also taking a 5-percent stake in SBM, the European casino firm said in a announcement.
SBM added: “Following this operation, the SBM board of directors will be strengthened by two new board members to be proposed at the shareholders’ meeting. They will provide enhanced knowledge and expertise in the gaming and luxury industries, which should prove extremely beneficial to the company’s future.”
The state of Monaco remains the controlling shareholder of SBM.
SBM announced a turnover of EUR452.4 million for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, a year-on-year drop of 4.3 percent. Gaming revenue fell by 6 percent during the period.
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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