The chairman of SJM Holdings and also the daughter of its founder, Stanley Ho, believes that a newly-formed alliance among the company’s shareholders are going to be key to the company’s ability to receive a new gaming license in Macau. Daisy Ho, along with sister Pansy Ho, joined up with the Fok Foundation in January to create a consolidated partnership that controls STDM, the family’s primary holding company and owner of SJM.
According to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE), the alliance now controls 53% of STDM, which, in turn, controls 54% of SJM. The controlling stake in STDM was previously owned by Stanley Ho’s fourth wife, Angela Leong.
The Ho family has been fighting over the past several years in an effort to win control over the Ho empire. In addition to casinos, the 97-year-old Stanley Ho is also behind a number of shipping operations, as well as real estate investment deals. Stanley has 17 children from four women, providing a lot of tinder to stoke the power-struggle fire.
The Fok Foundation is the creation of Henry Fok, a former business partner to Stanley. It was formed to hold his stake in the company after he passed away, and it is now controlled by his son, Timothy Fok, SJM’s co-chairman.
In speaking to Bloomberg, Daisy Ho stated, “The shareholders in the alliance all possess irreplaceable goodwill, accumulated through prolonged understanding and exposure in various industry sectors in Macau and mainland China,” she said. “Although the alliance is the ultimate controlling shareholder of SJM, no one should make isolated decisions. My job is to conduct robust board discussions and deliberations.”
SJM will see its Macau gaming license expire in 2020. Macau’s laws aren’t going to technically allow for license “renewals;” rather, new concessions would be issued – unless the laws are changed. Analysts believe the new alliance will certain help the company with the process, with IGamiX managing partner Ben Lee asserting, “The reintegration of the alliance’s resources with SJM will reinvigorate the gaming operator with the gravity it needs to move the needle on non-gaming investments, and will undoubtedly assist it in gaining a new concession.”