The 13 Holdings Ltd, promoter of a stalled luxury development called The 13 Hotel (pictured) on the borders of the Cotai and Coloane districts in Macau, said on Tuesday that between now and mid-February it is aiming for “completion of remaining works and installation of furniture, fixtures and equipment and operating supplies and equipment” at the site. It said such activity had “resumed” on Tuesday.
Once the work is completed, the property could then be inspected by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), added the filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. MGTO is the body responsible for licensing the city’s hotels, but not its casinos. The latter is the responsibility of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
In late October, the venue promoter had said it intended to open the Macau property “on or before” March 31, 2018, after securing new funding to complete the scheme. At that time the firm mentioned its intention of having gaming operations at the property “as soon as practicable”. The intended opening date for the scheme was reiterated in Tuesday’s filing.
The filing – outlining the group’s interim results for the six months to September 30 – did not clarify the capital cost of The 13 Hotel project, but said that as of that date, the group’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by approximately HKD3.63 billion, and that the firm had outstanding capital commitments of approximately HKD265 million.
Revenue for the group in the reporting period – which also has a management contracting division involved in civil engineering projects in Hong Kong – was up 1 percent year-on-year at nearly HKD3.08 billion, it stated.
The company additionally said that it has applied for a further extension of The 13 Hotel opening date to March 2018, under certain loan covenants of its bank borrowing of approximately HKD3.04 billion. “Such application is currently under review by the relevant lender,” it said.
The interim results announcement reiterated that the group had a memorandum of understanding dating back to April 2008 – supplemented by a confirmation letter dated November 2010 and a letter dated April 2012 – with an “affiliate of one of the [gaming licence] holders… in Macau… in relation to the management and operation of a casino proposed to be opened in The 13 Hotel”.
Tuesday’s results announcement added: “It is expected that a formal agreement will be entered into by the relevant parties subject to, amongst other things, the licensed operator obtaining approval from the Macau government regarding the gaming operation in The 13 Hotel.”
On November 14, the director of the city’s gaming bureau, Paulo Martins Chan, said that no gaming licence application had been made to his body regarding The 13 Hotel.
A second filing on Tuesday by The 13 Holdings said that an announcement confirming some updated financing arrangements – including a reorganisation of capital; placing of loan notes for up to HKD740 million (US$94.7 million); the bridging loan of up to HKD250 million – had been further delayed, with a new deadline set for such announcement “on or before” December 11. But the company added that the bridging loan of up to HKD250 million had been drawn down on October 25.
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”I wouldn’t be surprised if the [Macau casino] licences get extended for a year or even two years”
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman and chief executive of international casino operator Melco Resorts