Genting Malaysia has entered into a binding term sheet with Kien Huat Realty III Ltd, the family trust of its Chairman Lim Kok Thay, for the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Genting (USA) Ltd to acquire 13.2 million shares in Empire Resorts, equivalent to a 35% stake.
The transaction forms part of a complicated series of manoeuvres which also saw Empire receive on Tuesday an unsolicited proposal from Kien Huat, which already holds 86% in Empire, to acquire all remaining shares. Empire Resorts owns and operates New York’s Resorts World Catskills as well as harness horseracing facility Monticello Raceway, located 90 miles northwest of New York City.
If approved, Genting (USA) Ltd would first acquire its 13.2 million shares from Kien Huat for a total consideration of US$128.6 million, equal to US$9.74 per common share, after which the two companies would jointly acquire by merger all remaining shares in Empire. On the date of the merger going ahead, Genting (USA) Ltd and Kien Huat would contribute all of their combined shares in Empire to the new joint venture entity as well as a cash contribution sufficient to pay all amounts due.
The resulting entity would be 51% owned by Kien Huat and 49% by Genting (USA) Ltd.
Explaining the reasons behind the move, Genting Malaysia said on Tuesday that it would better position the Resorts World brand in the region through cross-marketing with Resorts World Casino New York City, attract additional customers from other states via those marketing efforts, achieve significant upside through revenue and cost synergies associated with providing arm’s length operating services to Empire, and leverage Genting Malaysia’s experience in the leisure and hospitality industry to enhance Empire’s ramp-up.