RGB International Bhd, a maker of electronic gaming machines for casinos, said in a Wednesday filing to Bursa Malaysia that “the tender for sales process for the Savan Vegas Hotel and Entertainment Complex in Lao People’s Democratic Republic was terminated by the Government of Lao PDR.”
The filing gave no reason for the termination of the tender process.
On March 25 San Marco Capital Partners LLC, a U.S.-based private investment firm asked by the Laos government to handle the sale of the Savan Vegas complex, announced a shortlist of interested parties.
Last week, Lao Holdings NV, the parent company of a firm called Sanum Investments Ltd, said it had filed three legal actions alleging violations of a 2014 agreement with the government of Laos. The firm said the agreement stipulated that the sale of the Savan Vegas – a casino hotel in Savannakhet, Laos – and other assets, should be “for maximum value to the benefit of all parties”.
Savan Vegas was previously controlled by Lao Holdings and Sanum Investments before the Laos government in 2012 seized the resort operation – claiming that Sanum owed US$23 million in back taxes and penalties – and appointed an interim management with a view to disposal of the property to other investors.
San Marco Capital had said the six-strong shortlist of candidates drawn up as a result of the sale tender process included: Iao Kun Group Holding Co Ltd, a Nasdaq-listed investor in casino junket room operations in Macau and Australia; Macau Legend Development Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed casino services firm with casino operations in Macau and that is planning to build a casino resort in Cape Verde, a West African archipelago; and a consortium involving RGB (Macau) Ltd, a firm that has previously managed a slot machine operation at L’Arc, a casino hotel venue on Macau peninsula under the gaming licence of SJM Holdings Ltd.
The other firms shortlisted to acquire Savan Vegas were: Hong Kong-based Asian casino and gaming hall operator Silver Heritage Ltd; Groupe Lucien Barrière, which operates casinos in France, Switzerland and other locations in Europe; and U.S.-based investment firm PGP Investors LLC.
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“Amendment to the gaming law is still a work in progress ... We need to wait for further details, in terms of the finer form that the amendments will take, and there will be additional regulatory measures that will be potentially issued thereafter”
Chief operating officer of Sands China