The Russian subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd will increase its stake in Oriental Regent Limited (ORL) – operator of Tigre de Cristal in the Primorye Gambling Zone near Vladivostok – by 10% to 77.5% as part of a fund-raising exercise for the casino’s Phase II expansion.
The increase forms part of a complicated series of transactions, partly completed on Monday, that has initially seen Summit Ascent Russia boost its stake in ORL from 60% to 67.5% via a combination of cash and convertible bonds paid to minority shareholders.
Both Summit Ascent Holdings and its majority shareholder, Suncity Group, announced early Tuesday that the former was also one of two current ORL shareholders to take part in a shares subscription to raise an additional US$65 million for Tigre de Cristal Phase 2.
According to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing, Summit Ascent has agreed to subscribe to 234,755 shares at a cost of US$53.6 million, which when complete will boost its stake to 77.5%.
Another shareholder, Firich, will pay US$11.4 million for 49,938 shares although its stake will subsequently decrease from 25% to 20%. Other minority shareholders City Wealth and Jewrim, neither of whom subscribed to the new shares, will see their interests fall from 5% to 1.7% and from 2.5% to 0.8% respectively.
Suncity Group had previously stated that both the share acquisition and share subscriptions, “can be interpreted as a strong support from the major shareholder Suncity. This is also an indication that regardless of Tigre de Cristal’s existing shareholders’ financial statuses, Phase II will go ahead from blueprint to brick and mortar as planned.”
Phase II will double the total size of Tigre de Cristal and triple the number of hotel rooms, with Suncity noting there are little restrictions on how many gaming tables and slot machines allowed under its casino license.
“The sky is the limit on how Suncity could assist in driving business volumes to Tigre de Cristal, especially taking into the account that Suncity will be setting up a direct VIP business line where high rebates originally offered to junkets could be kept within Tigre de Cristal, a proposition not being made possible without an attractive gaming tax regime,” the company said recently.