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Aquis Receives Second Offer For The Sale Of Casino Canberra

Posted on July 12, 2022 | 6:20 am

Aquis Entertainment, the Australian company that owns and operates Casino Canberra, has announced that the trading of its shares has been halted because it has received a second proposal to acquire the casino.

In May, Aquis Entertainment announced that it had signed a purchase agreement for Casino Canberra with Capital Leisure & Entertainment Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Oscars Group, the 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 agreement was that Aquis Entertainment would sell 100% of shares in Casino Canberra Limited, the company which holds the casino license to operate Casino Canberra, for 52 million Australian dollars.

However, the deal was not fully completed at the time, and now Aquis placed its shares into voluntary suspension from quotation as it revealed it was considering a second offer for Casino Canberra.

The Australian company revealed that it had also received a revised offer from the initial bidder, Capital Leisure & Entertainment, and that both bids are higher than the 52 million Australian dollars that were offered in May.

Aquis Entertainment is currently in the process of evaluating the two proposals in order to determine whether one of them is good enough to be accepted. Their decision should be announced this week and the company’s shares should resume trading.

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Failed Redevelopment Plans

Casino Canberra had been recording losses in recent years, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, and the company kept trying to elaborate 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.

Casino Canberra is the main business of Aquis Entertainment, and the company’s board said that the funds received from the sale would be used to repay its debt and then distribute whatever remains to shareholders.

SOURCE“Aquis receives second offer for Casino Canberra“Inside Asian Gaming. July 5, 2022.

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