It has been reported that Hong Kong businessman Lawrence Ho
has 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 be
finalized 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 issued
share 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 agreement
with a Hong Kong based brokerage firm called Sung Hung Kai Investment Services
Ltd. It has been reported that the brokerage firm will procure a price of $0.13
per placing share, which will net Ho about $34.7 million for the sale.
Many believe the stakes in Summit Ascent, which operates the
Tigre de Cristal, are being sold due to the increasing concerns Ho has for the
casino’s location in Russia. There arerising concerns revolve around the gaming
tax placed on the property to potentially double over the next year, with the potential
to increase by a factor of ten over the next several years.
Another pressing concern is the amount of illegal gaming
venues that are currently in closer proximity to the Russian population which
cut 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 the
However, one the biggest concerns for the casino is that it
will be very difficult to continue with Phase II of planning with the first two
concerns still effecting Tigre de Cristal. Summit Ascent had said in August that they
were confident that the first stage of Phase II would open by the second half
Ho, who also runs the successful Melco International
Development Ltd, currently has several other projects in the pipeline.
Currently Ho has casinos and resorts planned for several countries which
include Japan, as well as countries outside of Asia like Cyprus and Spain.
The shares are expected to be purchased by Taiwan listed
shipping operator First Steamship Co Ltd. The acquisition of the shares is
reported to be filed by First Steamship’s subsidiary, Heritage Riches Ltd. In the announcement the reason given for the
purchase is listed as a “long term investement.”