Australian operator Aquis Entertainment Ltd is still being pursued by investors after the company received a second offer to take over Casino Canberra. As Casino Guardian previously reported, Aquis originally received an acquisition bid worth AU$52 million to dispose of the casino to Capital Leisure and Entertainment Pty Ltd.
At the time when the first takeover offer was made, the company signed a share purchase deal. Now, Aquis Entertainment has taken into consideration a rival bid that is significantly bigger than the one that Capital Leisure and Entertainment proposed originally.
Late last week, the shares of the Australian gambling company were ceased voluntarily and remained paused during trade day on July 4th, while the owner of Casino Canberra is looking into the competing takeover bid and whether the offer can be of substantial interest to its business. Aquis Entertainment revealed that the second offer’s prices were higher than what Capital Leisure had been able to propose at the time when its original bid was tabled.
The casino owner is expected to provide a more detailed explanation of the consideration process but shares are expected to continue trading on July 6th.
Aquis’ Redevelopment Plan for Casino Canberra Previously Failed
Aquis Entertainment took over Casino Canberra in 2014 and in the following year submitted its redevelopment plan for the venue. At the time, the Australian gambling operator was willing to add 500 slot machines and seek official permission to actually roll out this segment, which has so far been suspended by the Australian Capital Territory’s Government.
Unfortunately for the company, the ACT Government rejected Aquis Entertainment’s suggestion, citing both financial and regulatory uncertainties as the main reason why it found the potential addition of a slot parlour as inappropriate for Casino Canberra. The local authorities still considered how to take advantage of the generous offer of the gambling company, so they made a counter-offer involving the addition of 60 electronic gambling machines and 200 slot machines, all of which would have to be operated under tough regulatory restrictions and guidelines.
Aquis Entertainment eventually made the decision to dispose of its Casino Canberra assets following its failure to convince the ACT Government to allow it to pursue its ambitious redevelopment project under which the gambling company would have invested about AU$330 million in the property.
Back in January 2020, a considered sale of the Casino Canberra’s operation by Blue Whale Entertainment took a plot twist and eventually failed. In December 2018, the company announced its AU$32-million acquisition of the casino venue, with the deal-making it the biggest shareholder in Aquis Canberra Housing. The deal, however, needed official approval from the competent gaming regulator in the Australian Capital Territory, and the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission failed to meet the December 21st, 2019 deadline without a result, eventually failing.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.