ENTERTAINMENT: Melco Resorts acquires 75% equity interest in Cyprus casino resort

Melco Resorts & Entertainment has agreed to acquire parent company Melco International Development’s entire 75% stake in ICR Cyprus � the operating entity of under construction integrated resort casino City of Dreams Mediterranean.

The share purchase agreement will see Melco Resorts take control of the Cyprus development in exchange for 55.5 million ordinary shares, equivalent to 4.0% of its outstanding share capital and valued at US$375 million.

Melco Resorts said completion of the deal is dependent upon approval by Cyprus regulatory authorities and the execution of a new shareholders’ agreement.

The proposed agreement would contain certain commercial and financial arrangements including the provision by Melco of corporate-level management services to the ICR Group for a fixed amount of Euros 2 mln per annum and the right to receive an allotment of preference shares in the gaming license-holding subsidiary of ICR Cyprus.

Pending approval, the transaction is expected to be closed by 20 September 2019.

ICR Cyprus, 25% owned by local firm Cyprus Phassouri Ltd, has already opened its temporary casino facility in Limassol plus satellite casinos in Nicosia and Larnaca, with two more due to open in Paphos and Ayia Napa this year.

The Euros 550 mln City of Dreams Mediterranean � Europe’s largest casino resort – is scheduled for launch by the end of 2021.

ICR Cyprus, through a subsidiary, holds a 30-year casino gaming licence for the Republic of Cyprus.

The licence started from June 2017 and the first 15 years are exclusive to ICR Cyprus.

The temporary casino in Limassol opened in June 2018 � the first such licensed casino venue in Cyprus. It will continue to operate until the opening of City of Dreams Mediterranean in Limassol.

Upon completion, City of Dreams Mediterranean is currently expected to have a 7,500-square-metre gaming area comprising over 100 tables and over 1,000 state-of-the-art slot machines, a five-star hotel with approximately 500 rooms, world-class international restaurants and cafeterias, an outdoor amphitheatre and MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] and other facilities.

Source: The Financial Mirror