Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Putera Sampoerna to buy London Casino

Below is an article from Gambling Magazine sent by a blogger to me this morning. The story also appeared in Forbes.com and other publications. In these publications, Putera Sampoerna is reportedly put a bid to acquire the London Casino's Les Ambassadeurs at 115 million poundsterling. Sampoerna had decided to back off from its bid to acquire pulpmaker PT Kiani Kertas at US$401 million.
The Times reported that Putera Sampoerna, believed to be a long-standing member of the club, is worth about £1.2 billion after selling his family’s clove kretek cigarette business to Altria, the US tobacco group formerly known as Philip Morris, for $5.2 billion (£3 billion) a year ago.
Indonesian Takes A Punt On Mayfair Casino
Gambling Magazine, Feb 10, 2006
An Indonesian tobacco tycoon has made a £115m approach to buy Les Ambassadeurs, the upmarket Mayfair casino owned by London Clubs International. Putera Sampoerna, who is billed as Indonesia's third richest man, is said to be worth more than £1 billion after selling his clove cigarette business to Philip Morris for $5.2 billion.
London Clubs, which is advised by NM Rothschild, confirmed yesterday that it had received an approach "which may or may not lead to the sale" of Les Ambassadeurs, its most lavish venue.
Its high rolling members are thought to include Philip Green, the Bhs owner. Bill Timmins, London Clubs chief executive, is thought to be receptive to a sale as part of his drive to reduce the volatility of the group's earnings. With punters happy to gamble more than £1m a night on roulette or blackjack, such volatility was aptly demonstrated at the half-year results in December.
After a run of bad luck and £4m of bad debts, Les Ambassadeurs racked up £2.1m losses, a big reversal from the £9.1m profits in the same period last year. Proceeds from the sale would be used to pay down the group's £124m net debts and fund the roll-out of provincial casinos. The group, which also owns the Rendezvous and Sportsman, plans to open in Leeds, Blackpool and London's Leicester Square.
London Clubs shares slipped ¾ to 147¼p, where the mooted sale price for Les Ambassadeurs represents just over a third of the group's market value. London Clubs declined to comment on who the approach was from.
A spokesman for London Clubs International confirmed to Forbes that it had received an approach for "Les A"--as the flagship club is affectionately known--but refused to speculate on a suitor or price for a the gilt-lined converted mansion, which overlooks Hyde Park. A couple of Les A's punters are Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and apparel billionaire Philip Green.
Meanwhile Independent reported the Sampoerna bid fuelled speculation that the sale could pave the way for a merger between London Clubs, Britain's third-biggest casino operator, and its bigger rival Stanley Leisure. The Malaysian casino operator Genting has built a 29.9 per cent stake in London Clubs and owns 22 per cent of Stanley Leisure. However, any deal between the companies would probably come under the Competition Commission's scrutiny as the combined businesses would own nearly half of London's casinos.

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2 Comments:

Blogger IndCoup said...

which blogger are you talking about, Yosef? ;)

cheers....

February 15, 2006 3:27 PM  
Blogger yosef ardi said...

Guess he/she is a reader of my blog

February 15, 2006 4:11 PM  

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