Pansy Ho ‘tightens grip’ over SJM

Pansy Ho Chiu King, co-chair of gaming operator MGM China, has struck a strategic alliance that boosts her control of rival casino concessionaire SJM Holdings, global newswire Reuters reported Thursday.

Pansy Ho Chiu King, co-chair of gaming operator MGM China, has struck a strategic alliance that boosts her control of rival casino concessionaire SJM Holdings, global newswire Reuters reported Thursday.

As reported by The Macau Post Daily yesterday, Shun Tak Holdings announced in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange late on Wednesday that Ho and four other shareholders of SJM’s holding company STDM have agreed to jointly vote their combined 53 percent stake to “more efficiently” manage SJM, which owns 22 of Macau’s 41 casinos, according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).

The five-member alliance comprises the Henry Fok Foundation, Lanceford Co. Ltd., Shun Tak Holdings, Interdragon Limited and Pansy Ho.

Reuters pointed out that the move puts the alliance’s influence at SJM ahead of that of Angela Leong On Kei, the casino operator’s co-chairwoman and fourth wife of Pansy Ho’s 97-year-old father Stanley Ho Hung Sun, who lives in retirement in Hong Kong. Leong reportedly holds 8.6 percent of SJM.

SJM Holdings stocks in Hong Kong were up 8.19 percent at yesterday’s close. Shun Tak was up 5.02 percent.

Reuters said that investors were expecting more stability in SJM’s ownership.

There was no comment on the move by both SJM and Leong Thursday.

SJM’s gaming concession expires next year. MGM’s sub-concession from SJM also expires next year. The government has said that it is still studying how to proceed.

Observers expect that the SJM concession and MGM sub-concession will possibly be extended until 2022 when Macau’s two other gaming concessions (Wynn and Galaxy) and two other sub-concessions (Sands and Melco) will expire.

According to Wednesday’s statement by Shun Tak Holdings, the 53.012 percent alliance comprises the Henry Fok Foundation (holding 26.576 percent of STDM’s shares), Lanceford (10.538 percent), Shun Tak Holdings (4.985 percent), Interdragon (10.796 percent) and Pansy Ho (0.117 percent).

According to the statement, Lanceford is owned by Pansy Ho and her siblings. Pansy Ho is the managing director of Shun Tak Holdings. Interdragon is owned 60 percent by Shun Tak Holdings and 40 percent by STDM.

Henry Fok Ying Tung (1923-2006) was one of the co-founders of STDM, together with Stanley Ho, Yip Hon (1904-1997) and Teddy Yip (1907-2003), in the early 1960s when the company won a tender to run Macau’s then casino monopoly concession which it held until 2002 when the local gaming sector was opened up to competition.

Wednesday’s statement also says that the alliance (referred to as “the Parties”) has endorsed a common commitment to advancing several fundamental objectives such as “the extension of the gaming concession in Macau held by SJM’s wholly-owned subsidiary SJM, S.A. and its continued and optimised contribution as a fundamental asset and source of revenue for the STDM Group and for its shareholders.”

While Hong Kong-listed SJM Holdings Limited is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, SJM, S.A. is incorporated in Macau where it holds one of the three gaming concessions granted by the Macau government in 2002.

Stanley Ho’s third wife, Ina Chan Un Chan, who owns about 16 percent of STDM, is not included in the alliance either.