Century Legend (Holdings) will pay a maximum of $559 million to acquire the Holiday Inn hotel in Macau through a newly formed joint venture in a bid to cash in on Macau's gambling fever. The travel and gaming firm signed an agreement last month to form a 50-50 joint venture with its controlling shareholder, China Sky Investments, to acquire a call option to buy the Macau Holiday Inn and the rights to manage the four-star hotel. Under the 12-month call option, the maximum acquisition price of the hotel is $559 million. 'Century Legend notices a long-term growth potential in the hotel owing to the expansion potential of its gaming facilities,' the company said in a statement. The Holiday Inn in Macau has 410 guest rooms, a night club and a gaming facility, which is due to be expanded and renovated under a recent agreement between the hotel's current owner, Longnex, and the operator of the hotel's gaming facilities. Century Legend holds a 15 per cent interest in the hotel's gaming operation. 'The acquisition of the hotel will enable Century Legend to tap the booming gaming and hotel industries in Macau, thereby enhancing the revenue base of the company,' said Century Legend chairman Samuel Tsang Chiu-mo. 'The company will launch a campaign to promote the hotel and its entertainment facilities, including the gaming facility, to more customers.' Century Legend rebounded to a net profit of $2.52 million last year from a loss of $5.43 million in 2003. Turnover rose 81 per cent to $108.6 million. At the end of last year, the company had cash and cash equivalent of $47 million.