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Aquis Agrees To Sell Casino Canberra For 52 Million Australian Dollars

Posted on May 18, 2022 | 8:03 am

Aquis Entertainment, the Australian company that owns and operates Casino Canberra, has announced that it has signed a share purchase agreement with Capital Leisure & Entertainment Pty Limited.

The buyer is a subsidiary of Oscars Group, a hospitality giant that owns 30 different venues in New South Wales, including hotels, pubs, conference and events facilities, chartered vessels and both commercial and residential developments.

The deal worth 52 million Australian dollars would see Oscars acquire 100 percent of the share in Casino Canberra Limited, the company which holds the license to operate the casino, along with all its associated assets. The deal is now subject to regulatory approvals.

The buyer revealed that the transaction is going to be funded on a debt and cash free basis, but a sum of 3 million Australian dollars will be paid in cash in order to help Aquis Entertainment meet casino regulatory requirements.

Aquis Entertainment revealed that the sale would help the company try new business opportunities, but the statement didn’t get into any details regarding those new possible ventures.

Allison Gallaugher, the Chief Executive Officer Aquis and Casino Canberra Limited, expressed the belief that the deal “provides considerable value to the company and its shareholders,” while recognising the “attractive operating performance” of the casino since reopening after the lockdowns imposed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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An Exciting Opportunity

On the other hand, Mario Gravanis, Director of Oscars, declared himself “excited by the opportunity” to acquire Casino Canberra. The Oscars director also revealed that during the coming months the two companies will be working together in order to ensure a smooth transition towards the new ownership structure.

Casino Canberra had been recording losses in recent years, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, and the company kept trying to push forward plans to redevelop the property. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government turned those plans down on every occasion, and ultimately that led to the decision to sell the casino.

Aquis purchased Casino Canberra in 2014 and submitted its original redevelopment plans in 2015, including a request for permission to install up to 500 slot machines. The initial project was rejected in December 2018, but the ACT Government issued a counter offer which was going to allow Aquis to run 200 slot machines and 60 Electronic Gaming Machines. That offer was turned down by the company.

Source: “Aquis to sell Casino Canberra for AU$52 million“Inside Asian Gaming. May 13, 2022.

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