Macau and Philippines casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd has completed the acquisition of all of its parent’s interest in the entity developing the City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort in the Republic of Cyprus.
Melco Resorts acquired the 75-percent interest held by Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Ltd in ICR Cyprus Holdings Ltd. The remaining 25-percent stake in the latter firm is controlled by Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) Ltd, a Cyprus-based conglomerate.
Melco International is the majority shareholder of Melco Resorts. Both firms are led by casino entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung.
Melco Resorts gave the news on the completion of the deal in a Wednesday filing to Nasdaq in the United States. The transaction had been first flagged in late June.
The firm added that the City of Dreams Mediterranean project – currently “under development and scheduled to open in 2021” – is expected to be “the largest” integrated destination resort in Europe.
Under the deal, representing a consideration value of approximately US$375 million, Melco Resorts acquired the ICR Cyprus shares in exchange for 55.5 million ordinary units of its own shares.
The holding in question is said to be equivalent to approximately 18.5 million American depositary shares of Melco Resorts, meaning that Melco International controlled approximately 55.80 percent of the total issued shares of Melco Resorts following the transaction.
In a separate Wednesday filing confirming the completion of the deal, Melco International said that, even after the disposal of its stake in ICR Cyprus, the latter “continues to be a subsidiary of the company”. The financial results of ICR Cyprus “will continue to be consolidated with the financial statements” of Melco International via its equity holdings in Melco Resorts, the filing stated.
ICR Cyprus, through a subsidiary, holds a 30-year casino gaming licence for the Republic of Cyprus, the ethnic Greek portion of that Mediterranean island.
The licence started from June 2017 and the first 15 years are exclusive to ICR Cyprus, according to previous company filings.
ICR Cyprus is currently operating one temporary casino and three satellite venues in Cyprus, with one more satellite casino expected to open this year. The temporary casino in Limassol (pictured) opened in June 2018 – the first such licensed casino venue in Cyprus. It will continue to operate until the opening of City of Dreams Mediterranean, according to its promoter.
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