The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Asian casino giant Genting Malaysia Berhad has reportedly purchased a substantial stake in a luxury yacht enterprise as part of an effort to help save his own firm’s Genting Hong Kong Limited cruise ship subsidiary.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Lim Kok Thay (pictured) has personally spent roughly $7.9 million so as to acquire the 24.68% interest in Grand Banks Yachts Limited previously held by Genting Hong Kong Limited. The source detailed that this move forms part of an effort on behalf of the 69-year-old billionaire to boost the liquidity of the latter firm as it struggles to cope with a coronavirus-induced downturn in business.
Genting Hong Kong Limited runs a trio of cruise ships under its Dream Cruises brand encompassing the Genting Dream, World Dream and Explorer Dream vessels. However, the firm was reportedly forced to suspend all operations early last year as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and only resumed sailings in July under a strict set of maximum capacity and social distancing protocols.
Lim reportedly holds a 76% stake in Genting Hong Kong Limited and could not have been happy after the enterprise was forced to suspend creditor payments in August owing to a pair of its subordinates failing to hand over approximately $4.3 million in bank fees. His son, Lim Keong Hui, subsequently stepped down as the struggling Hong Kong-listed cruise ship firm’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer but not before paying around $10.3 million to buy its Zouk nightclub brand.
Genting Hong Kong Limited then reportedly netted about $96.1 million by agreeing to offload half of the interest in its Genting Macau enterprise, which is currently building a 21-story hotel on a two-acre parcel of reclaimed land in the Nam Van district of Macau. All of these steps were purportedly taken to help the business overcome an annual deficit that is expected to top $1.5 billion following a first half in which its losses climbed by over 1,200% year-on-year to exceed $742.6 million.
For its part and Singapore-listed Grand Banks Yachts Limited reportedly manufactures and sells high-class yachts to VIP clients around the world. Genting Hong Kong Limited purportedly used an official Wednesday filing to declare that the transaction via its Isle of Man-based Exa Limited subsidiary is expected to close by the end of the week or on a date ‘mutually agreed by the buyer and the seller’ with its consideration ‘payable in full and in cash at completion’.
Reportedly read a statement from Genting Hong Kong Limited…
“The disposal will enable the group to offload non-core assets and investment and provide required liquidity to the group.”