The parent company of the Studio City casino resort in Cotai, Studio City International Holdings Ltd., announced in August of last year that it was contemplating an initial public offering (IPO) in the US. At the time, it had reportedly submitted “on a confidential basis to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a draft registration statement for a possible IPO of American Depositary Shares (ADSs) representing ordinary shares of Studio City International Holdings.” Fast-forward a year, and not much more has been discussed regarding the IPO. Now, Studio City has broken its silence and has said that the offering is still in the works.
In a press release issued by the company this past Monday, Studio City said that it “has been continuing its preparations for the proposed IPO, which is expected to commence as market conditions permit and remains subject to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declaring the registration statement effective.”
Studio City is composed of two entities. Melco Resorts has a controlling 60% stake in the company and operates the Cotai casino. New Cotai Holdings LLC holds the remaining 40% stake. New Cotai is a company that is controlled by two investment firms, Silver Point Capital LP and Oaktree Capital Management LP, out of the US. Melco is already listed in the US on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
According to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday, Melco’s parent company, Melco International Development Ltd., said that the possible IPO would be “subject to, among other things, the registration statement being declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, approval of the relevant stock exchange in the United States, the final decisions of the board [of Melco International] and the board of directors of Studio City [International Holdings] and market conditions.” It further stated, “Accordingly, there is no assurance that the proposed spin-off will take place or as to when they may take place.”
Studio City is a $3.2-billion resort that was built in 2015. It stands out among the rest of the casinos in the area by being the only one to feature a virtual reality ride, ‘Batman Dark Flight,’ which was designed by the Warner Bros. studio and DC Comics. The resort also features a distinctive figure-eight Ferris wheel.
Melco added an eSports venue to the resort last month. The Macau EStadium facility is designed to promote eSports events in the city and will host multi-player tournaments, as well as live-stream eSports events held elsewhere.