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Genting sells Star Entertainment Group stake

Friday, 14 July 2017 06:43
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Genting Group has sold its stake in Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.

Investment Bank UBS is said to have managed the block trade, which saw Genting offload 46.4 million shares – representing 5.62% of shared capital – at AU$5.07 per share.

The block trade had first been proposed last October but may be considered somewhat of a surprise given speculation in recent years that Genting Chairman Lim Kok Thay was planning to increase his company’s stake.

Genting, through its various subsidiaries, bought a 9.7% stake in Star Entertainment Group – formerly known as Echo Entertainment – in 2012 and in the same year lodged an official application with the NSW state government seeking permission to raise its stake further beyond the 10% cap.

The drawn-out approval process took more than three years but was finally given the green light 2015 with the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Queensland Attorney General granting permission for Genting to raise its stake up to 24.99%.

That scenario never eventuated, while Star Entertainment has since partnered with Chinese conglomerate Chow Tai Fook and Hong Kong developer Far East Consortium on the AU$2 billion Queen’s Wharf Development in Brisbane.

Notably, the AFR points to a familiar entity as possibly taking advantage, stating that, "Sources suggested Crown or related entities may have bought some of the shares on offer ... analysts and fund managers have posed the question in recent weeks over whether Crown Resorts chairman John Alexander would consider ramping up the local business with a tilt at The Star."



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