Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd announced on Wednesday that its shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal for the company to acquire some underwritten shares of Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, the lead promoter of the Tigre de Cristal casino complex in the Russian Far East.
Suncity Group Holdings, controlled by Macau junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, already has a leading stake in Summit Ascent. Mr Chau is the boss of privately-held Macau junket investor Suncity Group.
Suncity Group Holdings said in June that it had agreed to pay – via one of its units – about HKD1.24 billion (US$160.0 million) for underwritten shares of Summit Ascent. Under the deal, subsidiary Victor Sky Holdings Ltd is to underwrite not less than 2,036,204,058 rights shares and not more than 2,066,975,058 right shares in Summit Ascent. The subscription price for the underwritten shares is HKD0.60 apiece.
Suncity Group Holdings currently holds in aggregate an approximately 24.74-percent interest in Summit Ascent. If Victor Sky takes up all the underwritten shares, Suncity Group Holdings will control a 69.78-percent interest in Summit Ascent, and the latter company will become an indirect subsidiary of Suncity Group Holdings.
The funding required for payment of the aggregate subscription price for the underwritten shares, will come via a facility provided by Star Hope Ltd, a company also controlled by Mr Chau, according to previous filings from Suncity Group Holdings.
In June, Summit Ascent said that about half of the proceeds from the share exercise would be used to subscribe to convertible bonds in a Philippine entity, Suntrust Home Developers Inc. Suncity Group Holdings is the majority shareholder in Suntrust.
Suntrust is a Philippines-listed firm involved in the development of a casino project in the Philippine capital Manila.
Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent, chaired by Mr Chau, reported in August a first-half loss of HKD47 million, compared to HKD42.8-million in profit in the first half of 2019. The firm blamed travel restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, which had seen the casino resort shut from March 28 until its reopening on July 16.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters