LET Group Holdings, the Asian integrated resort investor formerly known as Suncity Group, has resumed trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the first time in over a month after its majority owner agreed to increase the offer price to acquire all outstanding shares in the company.
According to details filed with the Exchange late Wednesday, Major Success Group Ltd – an entity wholly-owned by LET Group Chairman Andrew Lo Kai Bong and through which he controls a 74.98% stake in LET Group – has offered HK$0.069 for each outstanding share, representing a total consideration of HK$344.4 million (US$43.4 million).
Lo and Major Success are required to make the mandatory offer under Hong Kong’s Takeovers Code after winning a public bid by former Suncity Group lenders to take control of the company, which was deemed to have defaulted on loans following the arrest of its former Chairman Alvin Chau in December. It is Chau’s 74.98% stake that now sits in the hands of Lo, while Chau himself awaits trial in Macau on charges of illegal gambling, being part of a criminal syndicate, money laundering and fraud.
The increased offer by Lo to acquire outstanding LET Group shares follows an initial offer of HK$0.0029 per share, or a total HK$14.5 million (US$1.8 million), made earlier this year. That offer was last week rejected by the Takeovers and Mergers Panel of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, which set the minimum HK$0.069 price – more than 2,000% higher than Lo’s first offer.
Despite the substantial increase, LET Group noted in Wednesday’s filing that Lo has no intention of privatizing the company and will continue to list LET’s shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
He also intends to continue the existing businesses of the group, which include investments in Vietnam integrated resort Hoiana, Russia’s Tigre de Cristal via its majority stake in Summit Ascent Holdings, and a new hotel and casino development in Manila via its majority stake in Suntrust Resorts.
However, it noted that due to recent loan defaults and a disclaimer of opinion issued by auditors for the financial year ended 31 December 2021 due to uncertainties relating to going concern, Lo “will procure LET to consider disposing of its valuable assets rigorously and/or refinancing from third parties.”
“Immediately after the close of the LET offers, [Lo] will conduct a review of the financial position and operations of LET in order to formulate a long-term strategy for LET and explore other business/investment opportunities for enhancing its future development and strengthening its revenue bases.
“As at the date of this joint announcement, [Lo] has not identified such investment or business opportunities.”