Tony Fung says he may open up his proposed Australian super-resort to the region’s investors through a partial listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The financier told the Australian Financial Review an IPO would be a year or more away, and he did not specify how much equity he’s prepared to share, but he said he expects support will be strong. A debt offering may also be part of the package, he said.
“As an experienced banker I’ve done many deals,” Fung said. “It’s just common business sense, and with the experience that I have had over the years to be able to identify an opportunity and analyze it to such an extent that I feel comfortable putting money, if you will, where my mouth is.”
His A$8 billion Aquis at the Great Barrier Reef, proposed for a coastal strip in the north of Queensland, will feature 7,500 hotels rooms at full build-out and will include a massive casino, multiple entertainment venues, a sports stadium, a golf course and a man-made lake and reef lagoon.
The project has been granted preliminary approval for one of three licenses the Queensland government is offering for resort casinos in hopes of rejuvenating a sagging economy by transforming the state into a preferred destination for big-spending Asian travelers and high rollers. The government also has approved a multibillion-dollar mixed-use gaming and leisure complex in Gold Coast backed by Chinese money. Domestic casino rivals Crown Resorts and Echo Entertainment are competing for the third license, which is reserved for the capital of Brisbane. Both have Chinese investment partners.