Emperor tightens grip on associate

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 12:00am

Emperor Group, chaired by Albert Yeung Shau-shing, is raising its stake in listed Emperor International Holdings to 69.08 per cent through a share-swap deal worth $164.96 million.

Under the proposal, Mr Yeung's privately owned Emperor Group has agreed to sell its 11.24 per cent stake in Emperor Entertainment Hotel to associate Emperor International for $164.96 million.

To finance the share acquisition, Emperor International will issue 129.89 million new shares to Emperor Group at $1.27 per share - Tuesday's closing price.

Emperor Group's stake in Emperor International will increase from 65.04 per cent. Emperor International's shareholding in Emperor Entertainment Hotel, which has reinvented itself into a Macau gaming play, will rise to 33.28 per cent from 22.04 per cent.

Luk Siu-man, Emperor International Holdings' chairman, said the Emperor Entertainment Hotel acquisition would enhance the firm's presence in the tourist and entertainment business.

'The company intends to acquire further shares of Emperor Entertainment Hotel from the market but will not trigger a general offer obligation under the Takeover Code in any event,' he said.

Shares of Emperor International rose 1.57 per cent to $1.29 after it resumed trading yesterday. Emperor Entertainment Hotel remained unchanged at $1.58. Trading in shares of the two companies had been suspended since Tuesday.

Last November, Emperor Entertainment Hotel, formerly known as Emperor (China Concept) Investments, agreed to acquire the Golden Princess, a 38-year-old vessel with a casino, from Mr Yeung for US$17 million by way of an issue of new shares. In return, Emperor Group received the 11.24 per cent stake in Emperor Entertainment Hotel.