Hong Kong businessman Tony Fung Wing Cheung’s Aquis Group has completed the AUD6 million (US$4.9 million) acquisition of Casino Canberra from Casinos Austria International Ltd, after gaining approval from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government.
“Aquis was advised it had received all the relevant approvals …Aquis and Casinos Austria (the vendor) completed the transaction shortly after being advised the approvals were in place,” the firm said in a statement on Tuesday.
Aquis added it is working to develop “an exciting vision” for the Canberra casino and expects to release details around its plans early in 2015.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as well as the Foreign Investment Review Board had already approved the deal.
Aquis, which is seeking approval to build an AUD8.15-billion casino resort in Queensland’s Yorkeys Knob, also wanted to acquire the Reef Casino Trust, which owns the Reef Hotel Casino. The AUD216.86-million deal however collapsed after a deadline was missed in November.
Nonetheless, Mr Fung last month reassured the Cairns community that he was not walking away from the Aquis project, dubbed Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort.
The Canberra gaming venue will be used as a vehicle to float the company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) in 2016 to raise funds to build the Aquis scheme.
“The acquisition of Casino Canberra marks another important milestone for the development of the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort at Yorkeys Knob,” the firm said in Tuesday’s statement. “The Canberra operation provides the opportunity to undertake a listing on the HKSE in 2016 as part of the funding strategy for the Yorkeys Knob property.”
Last week, Aquis was granted environmental approval by the Queensland government for the casino resort at Yorkeys Knob. A gaming licence for the project however is still to be granted.
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