Casino entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung (pictured) has increased his stake in Nasdaq-listed Asian gaming business Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. It was the second time in fewer than four months that his equity participation in the firm went up.
The news was given in a Thursday filing to Nasdaq. According to the document, Mr Ho’s stake – and that of entities controlled by him or his family – in Melco Resorts has increased to 55.8 percent.
In November last year, it was announced that Mr Ho had upped his stake in the casino operator to 54.6 percent. As of April 2018, Mr Ho and his interests held approximately 51.06 percent of Melco Resorts according to the latter’s 2017 annual report filed that month.
Mr Ho personally holds shares in Melco Resorts, as well indirectly via his interests in Melco International Development Ltd, the Hong Kong-listed parent firm of Melco Resorts. Since November, Mr Ho’s personal position in Melco Resorts increased by almost 1.6 million shares, to close to 13.25 million shares, the data included in Thursday’s filing showed.
Mr Ho’s overall controlling position in Melco Resorts benefitted from an ongoing US$500-million share repurchase programme announced by the company in November. Since then, Melco Resorts has repurchased approximately 10 million of its American depository shares. Each Melco Resorts’ American depository share is equivalent to three shares in the company.
As of Thursday, Mr Ho and his interests beneficially owned an aggregate of 836,563,396 ordinary shares of Melco International, representing approximately 55.05 percent of Melco International’s outstanding ordinary shares.
Melco Resorts operates casinos in Macau and one in the Philippines, and is working to obtain a casino licence in Japan. The firm announced on Tuesday a 57.7-percent year-on-year increase in profit for the fourth quarter of 2018.
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