The raging bidding war over Aquis Entertainment’s Casino Canberra is about to end as Iris Capital, a venture capital company based in New South Wales, has made an even higher offer to purchase 100% of the shares in the casino from Aquis, outbidding any previous offers from Capital Leisure & Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Iris Capital’s Latest Offer
Aquis has announced that it has signed a new deal with Iris Capital for the sale of 100% of its stock in its casino venue Casino Canberra. This time Iris Capital offered AUD 63 million ($42.4 million) for the 100%-stake, which is AUD 3 million ($2 million) higher than its previous bid of AUD 60 million ($41 million).
Back in May Aquis signed a share purchase agreement with Capital Leisure for the sale of its shares in the casino property for the amount of AUD 52 million (US$36 million). Later on, Aquis got another bid from an undisclosed company. Aquis, however, announced it was significantly higher than the offer from Capital Leisure. This forced Capital Leisure to up its game and propose to buy Casino Canberra for AUD 58.2 million ($39.5 million) and the two companies signed a new share purchase agreement, including a break fee clause for AUD 1 million ($678,500).
The bidding continued with an offer from Iris Capital for AUD 60 million ($41 million), which in turn led to yet another purchase agreement, this time between Aquis and Iris Capital, which also included a break fee clause for the amount of AUD 1 million ($678,500).
Aquis has informed that the latest bid from Iris Capital is considerably higher than any made by Capital Leisure and added that the finalization of the transaction is made more certain as the whole purchase amount has already been transferred to a trust account. However, the affirmation from the shareholders of Aquis and approval from the regulatory authorities is still to be obtained before the transaction can be executed.
Additionally, Aquis is also holding space for higher bidders as its latest share purchase agreement with Iris Capital also includes a break fee clause of the same amount as the previous deal.
What Lies Ahead of Aquis
Casino Canberra forms a major part of Aquis’ business activities. As a result of the expected sale, the company has announced that it is looking around for new possibilities. In a statement, the company has disclosed:
The board of Aquis is undertaking a review as to the best use of the sale proceeds, including assessing alternative business opportunities, repayment of debt, and a potential distribution of funds to shareholders.Aquis
The company is considering whether the capital from the sale can be used for paying back the loan to Aquis’ biggest shareholder Aquis Canberra Holdings Pty Ltd. Aquis decided to sell Casino Canberra after it failed to reach an agreement with the Australian government over a major upgrade plan of the property.