Casino cruise ship operator and Philippine casino investor Genting Hong Kong Ltd announced on Friday a deal to sell a 2.19-percent stake in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, a business listed in Nasdaq in New York. Genting Hong Kong is selling a total of 5 million shares for approximately US$270.1 million, after deduction of the relevant estimated expenses, it said in a filing.
The Hong Kong-listed company said it expects to book a gain of approximately US$57.4 million, representing the difference between the expected proceeds from the disposal and the carrying value of the shares. The sale will be done via Genting Hong Kong’s wholly-owned subsidiary Star NCLC Holdings Ltd.
The company said that the proceeds from the disposal “will be used as general working capital and capital expenditure for the group and/or to fund new investments, should suitable opportunities arise”.
Upon completion of the exercise – expected for Monday – Genting Hong Kong will still control a stake of approximately 5.64 percent in Norwegian Cruise Line. The stake will continue to be labelled as an “available-for-sale investment”, the firm said. Norwegian Cruise Line has operations around the globe, including Asia.
Genting Hong Kong sold in August a 3.29-percent stake in Norwegian Cruise Line for US$409.1 million, with the company recording a net gain of US$90.1 million.
Genting Hong Kong – a subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Bhd – has been accelerating expansion plans for its own cruise business and has developed a three-brand portfolio of cruise lines serving different parts of the market: Crystal Cruises for what it terms the ultra-luxury segment; Dream Cruises for what it describes as the premium segment; and Star Cruises for what it defines as the “contemporary” segment.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters