In Macau and a prominent investor in local casino operator MGM China Limited has reportedly urged the enterprise’s majority shareholder, MGM Resorts International, to sell up to 20% of its own stake to one of a number of Chinese enterprises.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Hong Kong-headquartered alternative investments firm Snow Lake Capital currently holds a 7.5% stake in MGM China Limited following a pair of late-2020 acquisitions that cost it in the region of $16.5 million. The source detailed that this backer’s founder, Sean Ma, has now penned an open letter to call on MGM Resorts International to dispose of a portion of its controlling interest in the firm behind Macau’s MGM Cotai and MGM Macau venues so as to ‘create a win-win transaction for all parties involved and deliver significant shareholder value to both companies’.
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International reportedly holds 55.95% of the shares in MGM China Limited and recently divulged that the subsidiary had recorded a third-quarter deficit in the region of $94.2 million as its associated net revenues tumbled by 93.7% year-on-year to just over $46.8 million. The American behemoth is purportedly also hoping to enter the Japanese casino market while being involved in talks that could see it acquire prominent iGaming and sportsbook operator Entain via deal thought to be valued at around $12.9 billion.
However, the letter from Ma reportedly contends that MGM Resorts International should now moreover consider freeing up capital by selling some its stake in MGM China Limited to a new strategic investor. The filing purportedly contends that such an endeavor would furthermore allow the giant casino firm to bring in ‘significant non-gaming resources’ for both its subsidiary and Macau to help with its bid to continue operating in the former Portuguese enclave beyond the termination of its current license in June of 2022.
Regarding a proposed buyer for a portion of MGM Resorts International’s stake in MGM China Limited and the letter reportedly mentions four Chinese companies encompassing property developer Sunac China Holdings Limited, hotel operator Huazhu Group, online travel firm Trip.com and local Internet platform doyen Meituan.
Reportedly read Ma’s letter…
“Introducing one of China’s top consumer Internet platforms as a significant strategic shareholder for MGM China Limited creates a win-win transaction as it distinguishes MGM China Limited by bringing non-gaming capabilities and resources to Macau at the industry’s post-coronavirus low. On the other hand, these companies will also benefit from the strategic investment in MGM China Limited.”
The boss for Snow Lake Capital reportedly suggested that such an arrangement could moreover allow local casino magnate Pansy Ho Chiu-King (pictured), who conveniently serves as Managing Director for MGM China Limited, to play a ‘significant role’ in helping Macau and the wider region to further diversify its entertainments offering. Ma purportedly furthermore advised that this would, in turn, help MGM Resorts International to increase the market value of its Asian subordinate, which he believes currently stands at up to 30% below that of its rivals.
Ma’s letter reportedly read…
“With a successful deal, MGM Resorts International could position itself well in a secular growth market. For the aforementioned reasons, we strongly urge the board and management team at MGM Resorts International to seriously pursue a strategic transaction with a leading Chinese consumer Internet or travel and leisure company to best position the MGM Resorts Limited shareholders for future success in Macau.”