Hong Kong-listed casino investor Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd on Thursday announced it had reached a settlement with a construction consultancy called Mace Ltd over the latter’s court bid to wind up Imperial Pacific over a disputed bill.
Imperial Pacific is the backer of the Imperial Pacific Resort (pictured) on the Pacific island of Saipan, which opened in July. Until then, the firm had been running a temporary gaming facility on Saipan called Best Sunshine Live. Saipan is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. Pacific jurisdiction.
The agreement to pay the disputed HKD2.6-million (US$333,255) bill for construction management fees was struck on Wednesday.
“Mace Ltd shall submit an application to the High Court of Hong Kong for withdrawal of the winding-up petition and obtain the sealed order from the court as soon as possible,” said Thursday’s filing from Imperial Pacific.
The casino investor had said in a Tuesday filing it was willing to fight Mace over the disputed bill.
The news comes as it emerged this week that Hong Kong had fallen one place to fifth, in the World Bank’s jurisdictional rankings regarding ease of doing business. The decline was attributed in part to uncertainty around insolvency issues.
The South China Morning Post newspaper noted on Wednesday that the Hong Kong government has since 2014 been considering legislation similar to the U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy law that allows U.S. companies breathing space to reorganise and find new investors. In Hong Kong currently, a single creditor can petition to wind up a company or have a company sell its assets to repay debt.
For the first half of 2017, Imperial Pacific posted a net profit of HKD912.0 million, up 8.9 percent from the prior-year period.
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"The ICAC in Hong Kong has the authority to detain people or to arrest people. But being detained or arrested – and actually being charged – are completely different things"
Japanese gaming entrepreneur