It has been reported that Hong Kong businessman Lawrence Hohas shown his intention to sell his 17.37% stake in Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd.The sale, which is reported to be done via a placing agent, is expected to befinalized by Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
Ho had already sold his stake of the company down to 27.71%earlier in 2017, however, he does currently owns 1.34% of the company’s issuedshare capital directly and still another 16.03% through his other, wholly owned,subsidiary Quick Glitter. Both Quick Glitter and Ho have gone into a placing agreementwith a Hong Kong based brokerage firm called Sung Hung Kai Investment ServicesLtd.
It has been reported that the brokerage firm will procure a price of $0.13per placing share, which will net Ho about $34.7 million for the sale.Many believe the stakes in Summit Ascent, which operates theTigre de Cristal, are being sold due to the increasing concerns Ho has for thecasino’s location in Russia.
There arerising concerns revolve around the gamingtax placed on the property to potentially double over the next year, with the potentialto increase by a factor of ten over the next several years.Another pressing concern is the amount of illegal gamingvenues that are currently in closer proximity to the Russian population whichcut into Tigre Cristal’s gaming revenue. Summit Ascent had posted a loss of $600,000 for the first half of 2017.A sharp decline from the $600,000 profit the company posted earlier in theyear.
However, one the biggest concerns for the casino is that itwill be very difficult to continue with Phase II of planning with the first twoconcerns still effecting Tigre de Cristal. Summit Ascent had said in August that theywere confident that the first stage of Phase II would open by the second halfof 2019.Ho, who also runs the successful Melco InternationalDevelopment Ltd, currently has several other projects in the pipeline.Currently Ho has casinos and resorts planned for several countries whichinclude Japan, as well as countries outside of Asia like Cyprus and Spain. The shares are expected to be purchased by Taiwan listedshipping operator First Steamship Co Ltd.
The acquisition of the shares isreported to be filed by First Steamship’s subsidiary, Heritage Riches Ltd. In the announcement the reason given for thepurchase is listed as a “long term investement.”