Hong Kong-listed MelcoLot Ltd and Melco International Development Ltd are cancelling a share deal amid delays regarding its tender process to operate a casino near Barcelona, Spain.
In a joint statement, the two companies announced they are terminating the deal that would have seen Melco International and related parties increase their stake in MelcoLot by as much as 65.05 percent.
The now-cancelled deal was dependent on several conditions, the first of which involve “obtaining and maintaining a valid casino authorization” from the Catalan government in Spain. Lawrence Ho-controlled Melco International and MelcoLot announced back in January that the tender process is facing delays due to the Catalan government’s inability to announce the results of an urban planning masterplan.
“As the timetable of the tender process for the casino authorization and the development of the project remain relatively uncertain in the current political situation in Catalonia… Melco International and MelcoLot entered into a termination agreement, pursuant to which the parties agreed to immediately terminate the share purchase agreement,” the joint announcement stated.
The Catalan government was expected to issue a casino license for the new BCN World tourism and entertainment area in the second quarter of 2016. The proposed large-scale entertainment complex will be developed in an area within the municipalities of Vila-Seca and Salou, located an hour away from Barcelona.
Two pro-independence parties in the Catalan government previously entered a last-minute deal to form a new government several months after the regional election failed to produce a majority party or ruling coalition. The partnership, however, showed signs of instability particularly after reports emerged that one of the parties, called Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP), is opposing the BCN World project.
MelcoLot announced in October that it had terminated its agreement with its Spanish partner, Veremonte, “due to the lack of basis of further cooperation.” MelcoLot eventually partnered with Melco International to provide the “best available platform in the current circumstances for the MelcoLot Group to continue participating in the tender.”