Star Entertainment announces $2.3bn funding for Queen’s Wharf casino resort in Brisbane

Star Entertainment announces $2.3bn funding for Queen’s Wharf casino resort in Brisbane

Regardless of corona virus-induced harsh economic downturn, Star Entertainment Group has announced a massive fund to achieve its goal of building Queen’s Wharf casino resort in Brisbane.

Australia-headquartered gaming-focused company Star Entertainment said that its much-awaited massive entertainment venue in Brisbane would likely cost the group nearly $2.3 billion, adding that it had started arranging the required funds well before the current corona virus pandemic. To keep the massive casino resort project running, the group picked up a loan of AUD$1.6 billion (US$1.3 billion).

The group and its joint venture partners in the Destination Brisbane Consortium successfully executed facility agreements for the project funding on terms in agreement with the commitments received. It wouldn’t have been a big surprise if the funding deal had died as the casino resort industry is set to suffer hefty losses due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, the group confirmed in a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that the funding is still intact, adding that it has successfully executed the facility agreements related to the transactions.

Making the announcement, the group said, “The Star and its joint venture partners in the Destination Brisbane Consortium have now executed facility agreements for the QWB Funding on terms consistent with the commitments received. The terms were agreed prior to the COVID 19 pandemic and therefore reflect terms available in the market at that time.”

Aristocrat Leisure Ltd., the manufacturer and supplier of gaming equipment, has got $500 million as a new Term Loan B (TLB) product, which it hopes will help it counter the losses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan, which will mature in 2024, will likely be formalized within a few days.

Julie Cameron-Doem, chief financial officer for the group, said they were very pleased with the result of this debt raising that was considerably oversubscribed. He stressed that the TLB market provided Aristocrat with much-needed flexibility and they are grateful for the debt market’s ongoing support.

While a large chunk of the loan will be provided sometime early next year, the first installment will likely be handed over within a few weeks. The loan period spans 5.5 years, and the funding is in proportion to the partners’ equity interests – 50 per cent held by Star Entertainment and 25 per cent held each by Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium.

Conditions precedent for the Queen’s Wharf casino resort funding is expected to be completed in June 2020, including pertinent final approvals from the government of Queensland.

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