Macau-based gaming operator Macau Legend Development Ltd says it is working with the owner of 1,200 hectares of land in Cambodia’s Siem Reap Province on “amicable solutions” after failing to settle a 2018 purchase agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, which subsequently saw the Long Stop Date extended twice, the two parties had until 26 June 2021 to complete the transfer of ownership but Macau Legend said in a Monday filing that they had failed to do so and the company “is now negotiating with the Seller for amicable solutions”.
Macau Legend had originally announced its intention to purchase the land by acquisition of a 100% stake in a company called Howing Enterprises Co Ltd. The US$90 million transaction would have seen Macau Legend acquire Howing and several plots of land totaling 1,200 hectares which were to be used for development of an integrated resort.
However, the original agreement included stipulations imposed by Macau Legend upon the seller that the land be “freehold land and free and clear of any encumbrances, and the land must have no aboriginal and other villagers or squatters, schools and students, no dispute, no land external mortgage, pledge and guarantee.” It also required the land to be adjoining in one full plot, with relevant documentation provided.
Macau Legend said in June 2020 that the process of obtaining all necessary documentation had been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questions had also been raised over the feasibility of developing an integrated resort with gaming facilities in Siem Reap, with former Macau Legend Executive Director Sheldon Trainer telling IAG in 2019, “When we first announced our interest there someone came out and said there is no gaming in Siem Reap, but we’re 50 kilometers from Angkor Wat.
“I think Siem Reap tourism generally is good … we can do that project without a casino. If we get a casino, fine, but we could also pick up an asset somewhere else.”
A similar plan announced by NagaCorp to develop a US$350 million non-gaming resort in Siem Reap was earlier this year rejected by Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts after UNESCO expressed concerns over its proximity to Angkor Wat, an official world heritage site.