HONG Kong billionaire Tony Fung’s Aquis Group has completed the $6 million acquisition of the Canberra casino from Casinos Austria, after gaining approval from the ACT government.
Aquis said it is working to develop “an exciting vision” for Casino Canberra and expects to release details around its plans early in the new year.
Aquis also said the acquisition of the Canberra casino will provide the opportunity to undertake a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2016 as part of the funding strategy to develop the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort at Yorkeys Knob, 15km north of Cairns.
The acquisition of the Canberra casino was originally part of a broader proposal by Aquis to acquire the Reef Casino Trust (RCT), which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Reef Casino Trust operates a casino in Cairns, and Casinos Austria and Accor are the main stakeholders in RCT.
Initially, the acquisition of the Canberra casino was conditional on the success of the overall RCT takeover offer.
But Aquis dropped its takeover bid for RCT because of regulatory delays and agreed with Casinos Austria that the acquisition of the Canberra casino would no longer be conditional upon the RCT takeover offer.