A senior executive from Japan’s Orix Corp, a financial services group, says the firm has reached an agreement with United States-based casino operator MGM Resorts International, to form a consortium to make a play for an Osaka casino resort.
MGM Resorts is the parent of Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd.
Makoto Inoue, the chief executive of Orix, a firm with its main operations in Tokyo and in Osaka (pictured in a file photo), gave the news in a Friday briefing, according to local media accounts.
The reports said the agreement was actually made in December.
Also according to the accounts of Friday’s briefing, the thinking is that Orix and MGM Resorts should have the same amount of equity in such a consortium, with “Osaka corporations” holding the rest.
The accounts gave no indications of the proposed size for Orix’s and MGM Resorts’ holding in the venture.
The U.S. company had previously been on record as saying it would have liked – if possible – to have a majority equity position in any consortium.
The formation of a consortium might be the basis for a response by MGM Resorts and local partners to an anticipated “request for proposal” from the Osaka prefectural and city authorities.
Jim Murren, chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts, said in comments in Tokyo last week, that he anticipated Osaka would make a decision by this time next year regarding which private-sector partners it would like to work with when pitching to the national government for the right to host a casino resort.
A maximum of three will be permitted in the first stage of market liberalisation.
Osaka is due on April 7 to hold elections for the post of Osaka city mayor and Osaka prefectural governor, which could see a change of control to the Liberal Democratic Party, which also holds the balance of power at national level.
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