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Melco International terminates joint venture for Zhongshan theme park.

September 28, 2023 Macau Casino & Hotel

A non-gaming complex in Zhongshan, China, close to Macau, featuring a theme park, was the subject of a joint venture that has been terminated by Melco International Development Ltd.

A notice to terminate the partnership agreement was submitted in July 2022 by Melco International, the Hong Kong-listed parent company of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd., due to responsibilities that its partner had not met. Unwinding the joint venture was outlined in a “framework agreement” that was signed in June 2023.

The plan, which was revealed in June 2021, called for the construction of an opulent mixed-use complex that would have included offices, hotels, resorts, spas, shopping malls, and a theme park in addition to residential and commercial areas. On this project, Agile Group Holdings Ltd., a company registered in Hong Kong, worked with Melco International.

Zhongshan is a component of China’s Greater Bay Area initiative, which encourages interregional economic cooperation. By June 30, 2023, Melco International had 51% of the venture’s CNY1.0 billion (about US$137.04 million) registered capital.

On the same day, the company disclosed a cost of investment in the joint venture of little under HKD180.15 million (about US$23 million). The sale of a freehold land parcel in Hakone, Japan, for little more than JPY2.14 billion (about $14.39 million) was also scheduled for July 12, 2023.

The Melco firm first applied for a casino licence in Japan, but has subsequently shifted its focus to non-gaming-related tourism and hospitality projects, such a hot spring resort in Hakone and a ski resort in Nagano. When Yokohama elected a pro-casino mayor who overturned the casino law in August 2021, it put a stop to its aspirations there.

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Original story by: GGRAsia

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