10/09/2012 : GENTING SCIONS EYE AUSSIE INTERACTIVE GAMBLING FIRM
Genting family members in deal designed to gain control of TwoWay interactive television wagering business
Joey Lim Keong Yew and Ben Lim Keong Hoe, grandsons of Genting founder, Lim Goh Tong, and nephews of current CEO and chairman KT Lim, have been named as the men behind a reverse takeover initiative that could see the Australian-listed interactive wagering company TwoWay Limited fall into their hands.
The duo are said to be seeking control in order to further ambitions to build a casino and leisure business in southeast Asia, and the deal paves the way for TwoWay to acquire a 75 percent stake in an expanding casino and hotel complex in Vietnam.
Donaco Singapore, the company controlled by the duo, will acquire 95 percent of Two Way, which will be renamed Donaco International Ltd.
Joey Lim said there were no financial ties between Genting and Donaco.
Meanwhile the Genting group, which owns several resorts and casinos across Asia under a number of subsidiaries, is trying to raise its stake in Australia's Echo Entertainment , which is also being targeted by Australian billionaire James Packer.
"They are two isolated events that just so happened to happen at the same time," Lim told Reuters in an interview. "We have both have our own individual objectives and targets and we will pursue them independently and objectively."
The listed group will initially focus on the expansion of the Lao Cai International casino and hotel complex in Vietnam, which represents all of Donaco's assets, but planning is also in progress on two similar projects and a casino cruise ship.
The expansion of Lao Cai to a 428-room hotel with a casino housing 26 gaming tables and 150 slot machines, due for completion next year, is expected to provide a significant boost to revenue.
Mak Siew Wei, an executive director of Donaco who will join the Two Way board, said two similar casino-hotel projects in two other Asian countries were "far along" the planning stages, but declined to give more details due to the sensitivity of licensing negotiations.
Two Way, which has a market capitalization of about A$4.5 million, has been developing interactive television wagering applications which are being used in Australia.
Two Way shareholders will vote on the deal on November 22.