Australia-listed operator of Asian casinos Silver Heritage Group Ltd says it has been notified that a “second, new, interim ex parte injunction” has been granted by the Rupandehi District Court in Nepal against two of the company’s subsidiaries in that country. Silver Heritage owns and operates the casino property Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa on Nepal’s border with India.
“The company is currently considering legal advice on the effect and consequences of the injunction and will keep the market fully informed of any further developments or action taken in this regard,” said Silver Heritage in a Tuesday filing to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The casino operator said earlier this month that a first interim injunction and legal proceedings against the subsidiaries in Nepal posed “no immediate material commercial or legal impact or risk on the company’s operations” in that country.
The Kathmandu Post reported in July that the Rupandehi District Court had issued a temporary order against two local subsidiaries of Silver Heritage, preventing the group from either selling Tiger Palace Resort (pictured) or developing further the property.
According to the newspaper, the original court order was in response to a writ from a local water consumer committee. The latter body was said to claim there had been some construction related to the casino property on four plots of public land. Silver Heritage had vowed to fight the land encroachment claims, saying that the original injunction did “not restrict the sale or construction on any plots legally owned by the company through its subsidiaries”.
In Tuesday’s filing, Silver Heritage did not disclose details regarding the second injunction against its two units in Nepal.
Sale, management changes
Silver Heritage said on July 31 that it had received a US$33.9-million offer to buy its Nepal casino “operations”. Aside from Tiger Palace Resort, the group also manages gaming at the Millionaire’s Club and Casino, in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
In Tuesday’s statement, the company said that one condition of the offer was the payment of a US$3 million deposit by the buyer into an escrow account by August 15.
“The company has yet to receive the deposit of US$3 million … due to factors outside the control of both the buyer and the company and has, as a result, granted an extension for the payment of the deposit to 10 September 2019,” Silver Heritage stated.
The boutique casino operator also announced on Tuesday that its chief financial officer, Ben Watiwat, would be stepping down effective September 6, “in order to pursue other opportunities”.
“Mr Watiwat has committed to assisting the company with an orderly handover,” said Silver Heritage.
The company said additionally that Martin Wright would be “rejoining” the firm on a consultancy basis effective from September 2. Mr Wright was Silver Heritage’s CFO between 2006 and 2017.
Silver Heritage also announced the appointment of Amy Bunnell as country head – Nepal, effective from August 26. Ms Bunnell had been acting in the role of general manager – corporate, for the company in Nepal for the past three months, “reviewing and improving internal controls, reviewing business processes and managing local stakeholders,” according to Tuesday’s filing.
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