Hong Kong-listed LET Group, formerly known as Suncity Group, said Friday it has agreed to sell a 220,000 square meter plot of land in Hokkaido, Japan upon which it had previously planned to build a luxury ski resort.
According to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing, the buyer is a company called NauticAWT Limited, controlled by Malaysian investor Cheah Meng Fui, which will pay a total of US$27 million to acquire the land. LET Group will record a pre-tax unaudited gain of approximately HK$35 million (US$4.5 million) on the land as a result of the transaction, it said.
Originally acquired by Suncity Group in 2020, the company had intended to build over 50 villas, 20 townhouses and a hotel with over 40 rooms on the land, described at the time as a “luxury resort” to serve one of the world’s most popular skiing regions and primarily targeting Japanese and Korean travelers.
The project was part of Suncity’s broader Japan ambitions which at one stage included bidding to develop an integrated resort in Wakayama. Suncity eventually withdrew its bid in May 2021 – seven months before its then Chairman, Alvin Chau, was arrested on various charges related to his Macau junket business.
Explaining the reasons for the land sale, LET Group said it has been implementing a cost-cutting program under non-core businesses have been and will continue to be sold.
“The Group [will] continue to offload assets to aid survival by focusing on the most profitable business segments only,” it said.
“In particular, the Group has planned and negotiated for the disposal of certain of the group’s non-core assets, including but not limited to parcels of land in Japan (which includes the property).”
Friday’s filing suggests LET Group may also dispose of land it acquired in Okinawa, Japan in 2019 for another resort project.
LET Group’s priority assets include Vietnam integrated resort Hoiana, a US$1 billion hotel and casino project in Manila that is currently under construction, and Russian casino resort Tigre de Cristal – held by its majority-owned subsidiary Summit Ascent.