Golden Resorts buys into Cambodia firm

Macau casino-hotel operator Golden Resorts Group has signed a memorandum of understanding to pay HK$147 million for a 49 per cent stake in Cambo Six, a Cambodian bookmaker with a four-year exclusive licence to conduct football betting in the country.

Cambo Six, set up in 2002, operates more than 20 retail betting shops across Cambodia. The firm caters mainly to Cambodian punters and also offers telephone and internet betting services. In February, the Cambodian government renewed Cambo Six's football betting licence, extending it until 2011.

Cambo Six's official status is exceptional in Cambodia which lacks specific industry legislation and where underground bookmakers and casinos are numerous.

Under the terms of the deal, Golden will pay Cambo Six chairman and substantial shareholder Wyman So Man-kit HK$63 million in cash, with the balance of HK$84 million to be settled in new shares.

The agreement includes a guarantee that Cambo Six will attain a minimum profit of HK$120 million in the 24 months after completion.

Major Macau VIP room operator Lee Wai-man, a substantial Golden shareholder and father of Golden chief executive Pollyanna Chu Yuet-wah, 'has provided certain financing to the Cambo Six business', according to the company's announcement to the stock exchange and is therefore 'potentially interested in the proposed transaction'.


Golden executives last month, after raising HK$435 million in a top-up placement, said that they were looking to diversify into Southeast Asia due to the intense competition in Macau.

The company operates the Casa Real and Grandview hotels and receives a share of revenue from the 124 gaming tables at the two casinos attached to the properties. Gaming revenues in the territory surged 45 per cent to a record HK$17.87 billion in the first quarter after six new casinos opened in the year to March.

Golden shares rose 1.26 per cent to 64.2 HK cents on Friday before trading was suspended.