Macau Casino Firm to Go Public with $1B IPO on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

A $1 billion initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is in the works for Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, the largest casino operator in Macau. According to an article published Monday by Thomson Financial, marketing for the Deutsche Bank-managed IPO–which will offer approximately 1.25 billion shares–was to have begun this week with a scheduled pricing of the IPO by Feb. 7.  Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho is the majority owner of the SJM, which had been Macau’s single gaming operator until 2002 when new regulations allowed foreign investors to be licensed operators. U.S. companies Las Vegas Sands, MGM Mirage–which opened the $1.3 billion MGM Grand Macau with joint venture partner Pansy HO, Sanley Ho’s daughter, in December–and Wynn Resorts are among the handful of companies now licensed in Macau, China’s sole legal gaming market.  Deutsche Bank is on board as the manager of the IPO. As per the article, 85 percent of the shares will be made available to institutional investors, while 10 percent and 5 percent of the shares will be sold to the public and employees, respectively. A public offering of SJM stock has been a long time coming. An IPO was originally targeted to take place in 2006, but plans were delayed due to a lawsuit by Winnie Ho, SJM minority owner and sister of Stanley Ho.  Macau has surpassed Las Vegas as the top gaming market in the world. Other U.S. companies planning to capitalize on Macau’s success include Hard Rock International, which signed definitive agreements with Melco Hotels and Resorts Ltd. to develop the first Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Asia at Macau’s $2 billion City of Dreams casino and Entertainment Resort Complex.