Weak sales led to Genting UK dumping its London casino for good. The Maxims Club Casino, based in Kensington had been reporting disappointing sales figures for years and its parent company, Genting Malaysia Bhd was trying to find a buyer to get rid of the asset. On Friday, the company announced that Canadian casino operator Coastbright Ltd. had acquired the Kensington property for $45.6 million.
Coastbright and now Maxims is in turn owned by Sonco Gaming Inc. alongside several investors. The Canadian company owns and operates gambling venues around the world. Their purchase of Maxims will help in strengthening their position in the UK. The Maxims brand covers different types of facilities and can be found in Genting owned casino resorts in Asia. However, it is unclear whether the change in ownership will change the branding as well.
Maxims was once an exclusive casino in the Kensington area, housed inside a 19th-century building. The history of the building is also interesting, as it is located in one of the wealthiest areas in Britain and was owned by a friend of legendary writer Charles Dickens. Genting worked hard to gain traction in the region, but competition with other exclusive gambling locations never kept its ambitions at bay.
After purchasing it ten years ago, Genting has been looking for a new buyer for the casino owing to a continued slowdown in performance. The property was first listed on the market in the fall of 2017 for a price of $52.71 million. The owners were ready to negotiate the price if a valid offer was submitted and talked to CBRE property consultancy to help with the sale. Interestingly, there wasn’t much buzz about the property until recently.
The sale will help Genting reduce its debt and free up cash as new doors to investment opportunities open. The company is expected to save $30.3 million in cash after covering all fees. The company clarified its plans in a filing to Bursa Malaysia, writing, “The proceeds from the disposal are intended to reduce Genting UK group’s borrowings, and for other potential investment opportunities.” Despite the additional cash, Genting would not be able to boost its net assets or consolidated assets considerably in the current financial year.