Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung will list his Aquis development company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with the hopes of tapping the Asian equity markets to help fund his massive $8 billion Aquis mega casino resort in Cairns, Australia.
In a conversation with the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Fung pointed out that he still needs to prove himself in the casino industry to entice investors to support his massive resort and casino in Cairns. One way to do that is to create significant gains for his Cairns Reef Casino, which he will acquire in November for a sum of $270 million. Once Fung’s in control of the casino, the objective is to at least quadruple its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) within two to three years—a challenge that begins this year where the billionaire is hopeful of generating an EBITDA of $20 million.
“I think if we in the next two or three years, if we can bring ourselves an EBITDA of $80 million, the chances of us getting it financed without me giving up too much equity would be very high,” Fung said.
Receiving financial assistance in funding the $8 billion casino project is important to get the project going. Fung said that the $270 million purchase of the Reef Casino would count as an out-of-pocket expense so it’s important for him and his company to show that it can succeed in the casino industry despite having little experience in the field.
Fung is optimistic that he can successfully leverage the Reef Casino’s performance over the next two or three years to gain investor confidence and support for his Aquis casino project.
“As an experienced banker I’ve done many deals,” he told the AFR. “It’s just common business sense and with the experience that I have had over the years to be able to identify an opportunity and analyze it to such an extent that [I feel comfortable] putting money, if you will, where my mouth is.”