Sun to raise its stakes in Latin Amer­i­can unit

The New Age (Free State) - - INSIDE1 -

SUN In­ter­na­tional said yes­ter­day it would raise its stake in Latin Amer­i­cafo­cused Sun Dreams to al­most 65% from about 55% in its bid to ex­pand its gam­ing and hos­pi­tal­ity busi­ness abroad.

Stiff com­pe­ti­tion, fewer avail­able casino li­cences and con­sumers feel­ing the pinch in Africa’s most in­dus­tri­alised na­tion have pushed the gam­ing group to broaden its hori­zons.

Sun In­ter­na­tional’s Latin Amer­i­can unit, Sun Latam, and its re­gional part­ner, Nueva In­ver­siones Paci­fico Sur Lim­i­tada (Paci­fico), would buy the 19.3% stake in Sun Dreams held by Chile’s En­treten­imien­tos Del Sur Lim­i­tada (EDS).

They would also jointly ac­quire se­nior man­age­ment’s shares in Sun Dreams, or about 0.6% of its is­sued share cap­i­tal.

Sun Latam would pay $63m for its half of the stake, Sun In­ter­na­tional said, rais­ing its hold­ing in Sun Dreams to al­most 65%. Paci­fico’s stake would rise to 35%.

Sun Dreams was cre­ated last year when Sun In­ter­na­tional merged its Latin Amer­i­can busi­ness with Chile’s Dreams SA.

EDS told Sun In­ter­na­tional in March it wanted to launch an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing (IPO) to list Sun Dreams in San­ti­ago or New York, or sell its stake.

“Rather than pro­ceed with the IPO, both Sun In­ter­na­tional act­ing with Paci­fico elected to each ac­quire 50% of EDS’s share­hold­ing in Sun Dreams,” Sun In­ter­na­tional said.

Sun Dreams, the largest gam­ing firm in Latin Amer­ica, has as­sets in four coun­tries, in­clud­ing Chile, Panama and Colom­bia.

It runs 13 prop­er­ties that have six ho­tels, 25 restau­rants, 6 500 slot ma­chines and 33 ta­ble games.

“We will con­tinue to explore all vi­able op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­pan­sion in the re­gion. These in­clude Peru as well as Brazil where li­censed casi­nos may be in­tro­duced,” Sun In­ter­na­tional CEO An­thony Leem­ing said.

Shares in Sun In­ter­na­tional, down more than 26% in the year to date, had slipped 0.41% to R63.74 by mid­morn­ing yes­ter­day.

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