Genting UK has spent the past several years trying to find someone willing to take the Maxims Club Casino in Kensington, UK, off its hands. It has finally found a buyer and its parent company, Genting Malaysia Bhd, announced last Friday that it has sold the casino’s operator, Coastbright Ltd., to a Canadian company for $45.6 million.
Sonco Gaming Inc., along with several investors, is the new owner of Coastbright and Maxims. The Canadian company is mainly involved in the ownership and operation of gambling venues around the globe.
Maxims was once an exclusive casino in Kensington, a borough of London. It is located in a 19th century building that was once owned by a friend of Charles Dickens in one of the wealthiest parts of the UK. It has been competing with other exclusive gambling facilities and never gained the traction Genting expected. The gambling operator purchased the venue about ten years ago and continued slow performance has had it looking for a new owner for several years.
The Maxims brand covers other types of facilities, as well. It is found in casino resorts owned by Genting in Asia, but it isn’t clear whether or not the sale will force changes in those branded offerings.
In the fall of 2017, Genting put the property on the market, hoping to fetch about $52.71 million. It was willing to negotiate on the price if a valid offer came along, but there hasn’t been much movement until now. The company also contracted with the CBRE property consultancy company to handle the sale.
Selling the property will help Genting free up cash and reduce some of its debt. It will also open up opportunities to seek out new investment opportunities and the company expects to walk away with around $30.3 million after all fees are covered. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Genting stated, “The proceeds from the disposal are intended to reduce Genting UK group’s borrowings, and for other potential investment opportunities.”
While the sale will free up cash, it isn’t expected to significantly boost the consolidated earnings or net assets of Genting for the current financial year.