Melco applies to list its Macau-based Studio City’s shares in New York

Louise Moon
Melco applies to list its Macau-based Studio City’s shares in New York

Macau entertainment resort Studio City has formally applied to float its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, its parent company Melco International Development said on Monday.

Melco said Studio City had publicly registered its intent with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission on Friday to launch an initial public offering. Details about the size and price range of the IPO have not been finalised yet, the company said in a statement.

The Hollywood-inspired gaming, retail and entertainment resort opened in Cotai, Macau in 2015, at a cost of US$3.2 billion. It is 60 per cent owned by Nasdaq-listed Melco Resorts, which will remain the majority shareholder after the IPO, while the rest is held by private company New Cotai Holdings, an arm of US-based investment firms Silver Point Capital and Oaktree Capital Management.

Melco Resorts, in turn, is 51.2 per cent owned by Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development, whose interest in Studio City will be reduced by an undisclosed sum as a result of the listing, the statement said.

Melco shares jump as it plans US listing for Studio City unit

The company submitted a draft registration for the listing in August, 2017. Investors at the time speculated that the reason could be that New Cotai wanted to sell its stake and use the IPO as a way to gauge valuation.

Macau is the world’s largest gaming market, with gross revenue about five times bigger than that of the Las Vegas Strip last year, according to the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Bloomberg Intelligence.

On Monday, Melco International Development’s shares opened 0.47 per cent higher before plummeting to a 52-week low of HK$16.50 during the trading day, and ending the session down 2.56 per cent at HK$16.72.

In the six months ending June 30, Studio City’s total revenue had increased to US$282.2 million, from US$253.9 million in the same period of 2017, while total operating costs and expenses decreased to US$217.5 million from US$222.30 million.

Its net losses narrowed to US$14.8 million from US$47 million.

The company has not previously declared or paid cash dividends, and said it does not expect to after the shares offering. It plans to retain all the proceeds to expand the business.

The IPO will be in the form of American depositary shares (ADSs) – stock of an overseas company traded on a US exchange.

Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley will all play a role in the IPO, according to Melco’s statement.

Also on Monday, Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corporation, a subsidiary of Melco Resorts, announced a tender offer to shareholders, and a voluntary delisting from the Philippine Stock Exchange, to be filed around September 17.

An inability to raise funds in the Philippines to provide capital for expansion and other business plans was cited as the reason.

This article Melco applies to list its Macau-based Studio City’s shares in New York first appeared on South China Morning Post

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