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South Korea – Iao Kun Group Holding buys Jeju Sun from Bloomberry

By - 23 June 2016

Chinese casino group Iao Kun Group Holding Co is buying Jeju Sun Hotel Casino in South Korea from Bloomberry Resorts for KRW 117.5bn (US$102m).

Owned by Enrique Razon, Bloomberry has confirmed it is offloading what was its first international foray after owning the property for just over a year.

Lam Man Pou, Chairman of Iao Kun Group Holding, said: “We are excited to be acquiring the Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino in Korea, our first lodging venture, which effectively broadens our strategic focus toward becoming a full-service hospitality company. We believe the acquisition will materially expand our footprint in Asia into the growing Korean market and increasingly popular island of Jeju-Do while allowing us to further diversify and stabilise our revenue streams and cash flows. We expect the current Jeju Sun Hotel management team will remain to continue to run the newly renovated property, and we look forward to welcoming them to IKGH.”

Bloomberry only bought the stake in the Jeju casino in April last year purchasing what was then called T.H.E Hotel and LVegas Casino but rebranding it as Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino. The property consists of 202-room hote, 2,000 square meters of gaming floor, 36 tables and 20 electronic gaming machines. The venue was shut for five months between May and September for refurbishments and was then forced to close again in November when its licence was suspended due to tax issues.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, Bloomberry Resorts said its subsidiary Solaire Korea is selling its 96.23 per cent shareholding in Golden & Luxury, the owner and operator of the Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino in Jeju Island, to Iao Kun Group Holding Co.

Bloomberry said in its statement: “Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and Iao Kun Group Holding Co. Ltd. hereby jointly announce that their respective subsidiaries have signed an agreement on the sale by Solaire Korea Co. Ltd. of its 96.23 percent shareholding in Golden & Luxury Co. Ltd. (G&L). Iao Kun desires to enter into the Jeju market and is confident that it can attract its Chinese VIP customers to Jeju Island. Solaire Korea, on the other hand, intends to focus its effort on the development of its property in Muui and Silmi Islands.”

The operator said the agreement was subject to several conditions, including the satisfactory results of a due diligence that Iao Kun will conduct on the shares to be sold, G&L, and its assets and business. It is also subject to the approval of government authorities.

Jeju Sun will face up to new competition next year when Genting Singapore opens Resorts World Jeju. Another operation, known as Dream Tower, a project between a South Korean firm and a Chinese state-owned developer, is also in the pipeline.

As well as focusing on its future casino in Muui and Silmi Islands, Bloomberry is currently embroiled in a battle to land the casino licence being launched in Cyprus. Mr. Razon Jr stated recently that as an exclusive licence in a tourist destination the Cyprus licence could be a valuable addition to the group’s portfolio.

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