K. Wah moves forward on Macao casino buyout - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

HONG KONG Shareholders of K. Wah Construction Materials and its parent company, K. Wah International Holdings, approved plans Tuesday to buy Galaxy Casino in Macao with shares and other securities, in a deal valued at 18.4 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Lui Che-woo, the Hong Kong-based businessman who controls both K. Wah Construction and Galaxy, announced plans in April to turn the construction company into Hong Kongs first publicly traded casino operator. K. Wah Construction, two-thirds owned by K. Wah International, plans to pay Galaxy shareholders led by the Lui family with new stock and debt securities worth the equivalent of $2.4 billion.

Galaxy holds one of three existing casino licenses in Macao, the worlds biggest gambling hub after Las Vegas and the only place in China where casinos are legal. The deal will allow Lui to take his casino public without an initial share sale, as he competes with Stanley Ho, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

Gambling revenue in Macao rose 44 percent to $5 billion last year.

In April, K. Wah Construction cut a Hong Kong share offering by two-fifths to 1.2 billion dollars to meet stock exchange rules, according to bankers. The Hong Kong-listed builder sold 146 million shares at 8 dollars each, 42 percent less than the 253.8 million shares initially offered, the bankers said.

K. Wah Construction trimmed the size of the sale because the original offer would have cut K. Wah Internationals revenue per share by more than 5 percent, the maximum dilution allowed by the stock exchange, they said. The company received sufficient demand to carry out the originally planned sale, which aimed to raise as much as 2.16 billion dollars, the bankers added.

Galaxy, which operates a casino in the Waldo Hotel in Macao, plans to add four casinos in the former Portuguese colony, including developments in central Macao and in the Cotai area. Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of Las Vegas Sands, aims to replicate the Las Vegas Strip on Cotai, 4.7 square kilometers, or 1.9 square miles, of reclaimed land.

Adelson said in March that he aimed to fill Cotai in seven to 10 years with casino resorts providing 60,000 rooms, after Macao in 2002 ended a 40-year gambling monopoly previously held by Ho. Gambling receipts in 2004 accounted for about half of Macaos economy, which expanded by a record 28 percent to 82.7 billion patacas, or $10.3 billion.

The city forecasts that gambling will contribute a bigger share of the economy in two years as Adelson and rivals, including the Las Vegas operator Steve Wynn, add blackjack and roulette tables. The government has said that it expects 20 million visitors this year after arrivals rose 40 percent in 2004 to about 17 million.

HONG KONG Shareholders of K. Wah Construction Materials and its parent company, K. Wah International Holdings, approved plans Tuesday to buy Galaxy Casino in Macao with shares and other securities, in a deal valued at 18.4 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Lui Che-woo, the Hong Kong-based businessman who controls both K. Wah Construction and Galaxy, announced plans in April to turn the construction company into Hong Kongs first publicly traded casino operator. K. Wah Construction, two-thirds owned by K. Wah International, plans to pay Galaxy shareholders led by the Lui family with new stock and debt securities worth the equivalent of $2.4 billion.

Galaxy holds one of three existing casino licenses in Macao, the worlds biggest gambling hub after Las Vegas and the only place in China where casinos are legal. The deal will allow Lui to take his casino public without an initial share sale, as he competes with Stanley Ho, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

Gambling revenue in Macao rose 44 percent to $5 billion last year.

In April, K. Wah Construction cut a Hong Kong share offering by two-fifths to 1.2 billion dollars to meet stock exchange rules, according to bankers. The Hong Kong-listed builder sold 146 million shares at 8 dollars each, 42 percent less than the 253.8 million shares initially offered, the bankers said.

K. Wah Construction trimmed the size of the sale because the original offer would have cut K. Wah Internationals revenue per share by more than 5 percent, the maximum dilution allowed by the stock exchange, they said. The company received sufficient demand to carry out the originally planned sale, which aimed to raise as much as 2.16 billion dollars, the bankers added.

Galaxy, which operates a casino in the Waldo Hotel in Macao, plans to add four casinos in the former Portuguese colony, including developments in central Macao and in the Cotai area. Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of Las Vegas Sands, aims to replicate the Las Vegas Strip on Cotai, 4.7 square kilometers, or 1.9 square miles, of reclaimed land.

Adelson said in March that he aimed to fill Cotai in seven to 10 years with casino resorts providing 60,000 rooms, after Macao in 2002 ended a 40-year gambling monopoly previously held by Ho. Gambling receipts in 2004 accounted for about half of Macaos economy, which expanded by a record 28 percent to 82.7 billion patacas, or $10.3 billion.

The city forecasts that gambling will contribute a bigger share of the economy in two years as Adelson and rivals, including the Las Vegas operator Steve Wynn, add blackjack and roulette tables. The government has said that it expects 20 million visitors this year after arrivals rose 40 percent in 2004 to about 17 million.

HONG KONG Shareholders of K. Wah Construction Materials and its parent company, K. Wah International Holdings, approved plans Tuesday to buy Galaxy Casino in Macao with shares and other securities, in a deal valued at 18.4 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Lui Che-woo, the Hong Kong-based businessman who controls both K. Wah Construction and Galaxy, announced plans in April to turn the construction company into Hong Kongs first publicly traded casino operator. K. Wah Construction, two-thirds owned by K. Wah International, plans to pay Galaxy shareholders led by the Lui family with new stock and debt securities worth the equivalent of $2.4 billion.

Galaxy holds one of three existing casino licenses in Macao, the worlds biggest gambling hub after Las Vegas and the only place in China where casinos are legal. The deal will allow Lui to take his casino public without an initial share sale, as he competes with Stanley Ho, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

Gambling revenue in Macao rose 44 percent to $5 billion last year.

In April, K. Wah Construction cut a Hong Kong share offering by two-fifths to 1.2 billion dollars to meet stock exchange rules, according to bankers. The Hong Kong-listed builder sold 146 million shares at 8 dollars each, 42 percent less than the 253.8 million shares initially offered, the bankers said.

K. Wah Construction trimmed the size of the sale because the original offer would have cut K. Wah Internationals revenue per share by more than 5 percent, the maximum dilution allowed by the stock exchange, they said. The company received sufficient demand to carry out the originally planned sale, which aimed to raise as much as 2.16 billion dollars, the bankers added.

Galaxy, which operates a casino in the Waldo Hotel in Macao, plans to add four casinos in the former Portuguese colony, including developments in central Macao and in the Cotai area. Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of Las Vegas Sands, aims to replicate the Las Vegas Strip on Cotai, 4.7 square kilometers, or 1.9 square miles, of reclaimed land.

Adelson said in March that he aimed to fill Cotai in seven to 10 years with casino resorts providing 60,000 rooms, after Macao in 2002 ended a 40-year gambling monopoly previously held by Ho. Gambling receipts in 2004 accounted for about half of Macaos economy, which expanded by a record 28 percent to 82.7 billion patacas, or $10.3 billion.

The city forecasts that gambling will contribute a bigger share of the economy in two years as Adelson and rivals, including the Las Vegas operator Steve Wynn, add blackjack and roulette tables. The government has said that it expects 20 million visitors this year after arrivals rose 40 percent in 2004 to about 17 million.

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