Delays to refinancing of Empire Resorts could see Genting Malaysia invest another US$140 million in October

Genting Malaysia could invest up to US$140 million more in its embattled New York casino operations come October should there be any further delays to refinancing plans, according to Nomura Research analysts.

The Malaysian gaming giant revealed late last week it would purchase an additional US$20 million in “Series L Preferred Stock” in Empire Resorts – owner of New York’s Resorts World Catskills – in order to boost Empire’s equity due to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. It had previously invested US$190 million since March 2020 via two separate transactions, including US$150 million last September, due to delays in a planned refinancing of Empire’s long-term borrowings.

That US$150 million left little room for further investment due to Bursa Malaysia rules requiring a minority shareholder vote should related-party transactions over a rolling 12-month period exceed 5% of the company’s net book value.

According to Nomura analysts Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal, Friday’s US$20 million investment takes the rolling 12-month total to 4.8% of net book value through September 2021, but the company may feel the need to prop up Empire yet again come October if refinancing efforts aren’t expedited.

“We believe Empire Resorts will attempt to conclude the refinancing of Resorts World Catskills’ long-term borrowings in the meantime, as its operating outlook improves with progress in US vaccinations,” they state. However, “should there be a delay in refinancing till September 2021, there can theoretically be a further US$140mn capital injection in Empire by Genting Malaysia sometime around October 2021, based on our calculations, without seeking a minority vote.”

Nomura said it expects Genting Malaysia to record losses of around MYR238 million (US$58 million) in FY21, mainly due to its share of losses from Empire Resorts.

(Photo: secureservercdn)

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