Control of a theme park adjacent to land for a proposed casino resort in the Japanese metropolis of Nagasaki is to be transferred to PAG, a Hong Kong-based private asset management firm, according to a Tuesday announcement from the current majority shareholder in the Huis Ten Bosch park.
Present controller, Japan-based HIS Co Ltd, is to sell its 66.67 percent stake in Huis Ten Bosch (pictured) for JPY66.66 billion (US$482 million), said the Tuesday statement.
The announcement made no mention of the casino resort proposal for the adjacent land, which involves Casinos Austria International as a private-sector partner, and was submitted to Japan’s national government in late April, for a possbile decision later this year.
Tuesday’s release by HIS stated that suitor PAG believed that strengthening the consumer appeal of the park – combined with an expected recovery of international tourism to Japan – meant business growth potential for Huis Ten Bosch.
Nagasaki’s casino scheme has been budgeted at JPY438.3 billion, with it opening “at earliest” in financial year 2027, according to its promoters.
The estimated annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the casino at the mooted integrated resort (IR) is JPY150 billion. Out of that, 15 percent – or JPY22.5 billion – should go to the prefecture.
The Tuesday statement from HIS regarding Huis Ten Bosch, said that prior to September 30, HIS is to buy out the minority shareholders, and convert those holdings into treasury shares, which will subsequently give PAG 100 percent control.
According to the Tuesday statement, PAG has valued the total equity of the operator at JPY100 billion. The Hong Kong firm had been linked with a deal in Japanese media reports in July.
The current minority shareholders of Huis Ten Bosch are: Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc, with 13.3 percent; Saibu Gas Co Ltd, with 10.0 percent; Kyudenko Corp, with 5.0 percent; Kyushu Railway Co, with 3.3 percent; and Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co Ltd, with 1.7 percent.
HIS had previously indicated it might seek to float the Huis Ten Bosch operation on the stock market. It has separately had previous talks on disposal of the site, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
Hideo Sawada, chief executive of HIS, had said to reporters in 2018 that “if a casino comes to Huis Ten Bosch, the corporate value of the [theme park] operator could be 1.5 times or double” the market value without an adjacent casino.
In 2019, the operator of Huis Ten Bosch and the governments of Nagasaki Prefecture and Sasebo City, the relevant local authorities, announced an agreement to designate part of the land and buildings of the Huis Ten Bosch amusement park as a candidate site for an IR.
According to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, the site earmarked for the IR has public-road access that is independent of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park itself.
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