Genting Group Chairman and CEO Lim Kok Thay has purchased a 24.68% stake in a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong as part of the troubled cruise ship firm’s ongoing efforts to boost liquidity.
Lim, who is also Chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong and holds a personal 76% stake in the company, this week entered into an agreement to purchase SG$10.6 million (US$7.9 million) worth of shares in Grand Banks Yachts, a Singapore-listed firm that manufactures and sells luxury yachts worldwide.
The acquisition represents Genting Hong Kong’s entire stake in Grand Banks Yachts.
“The catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic has caused an acute disruption to businesses worldwide and led the cruise and tourism industry to a sudden halt since February 2020,” Genting Hong Kong said in announcing the sale of its interest.
“Business worldwide has been severely hit due to enforcement of large-scale pandemic-control measures which have massively disrupted social activities.
“At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Group has taken swift countermeasures to aggressively minimize expenses and conserve cash to lower our cash burn rate. We continue our efforts to conserve cash and to seek additional sources of finance, including disposal of non-core assets and investments, to sustain our business working on partial resumption of cruise operations.
“The Disposal will enable the Group to offload non-core assets and investment and provide required liquidity to the Group.”
Genting Hong Kong has been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and last August revealed it was temporarily suspending all payments to the group’s financial creditors to preserve liquidity after two subsidiaries failed to pay €3.7 million in bank fees, constituting an event of default.
In November, Genting HK announced the sale of half of its stake in Genting Macau, a wholly-owned subsidiary that has been developing a hotel alongside Macau’s Nam Van Lake, for HK$750 million (US$96 million). The company has since flagged the likely future sale of its remaining stake.