GCM Ltd to lend f US$500 million toward “Saipan phase 1 integrated resort project” of Imperial Pacific


A Japanese “institution” called GCM Ltd is to lend a total of US$500 million towards the “Saipan phase 1 integrated resort project” of Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd, according to a Wednesday filing from the latter Hong Kong-listed company.

The filing said a first tranche of US$100 million had already been provided as of Wednesday. The document gave no further details.

A Japanese financial institution called GCM Ltd, based in Tokyo, operates three funds specialising respectively in real estate, distressed assets and corporate investment, according to its corporate website. That firm also offers consultancy in a number of areas, including mergers and acquisitions.

Imperial Pacific International Holdings is promoting – via a unit called Imperial Pacific International LLC – a casino resort on Saipan, but it has been subject to numerous delays amid a search for fresh funding.

On Tuesday the local unit reportedly asked the gaming regulator on Saipan – a United States jurisdiction that is part of the Pacific Ocean territory of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands – to extend again a completion deadline on a portion of its under-construction casino resort (pictured in a file photo).

The new deadline requested was August 21, 2022, versus what was reported by local media as a “current” deadline of February 28, 2021. That topic was not however discussed at the Tuesday meeting, according to local reports.

On Tuesday the local unit also asked – and was reportedly granted – permission to count hotel rooms that might be built by future partners or investors to go toward a 2,000-room count requirement for its development. The tally of rooms is said to be mandated by the local casino law.

The local regulator, the Commonwealth Casino Commission on Saipan, was also asked at Tuesday’s meeting – according to local media reports – to allow Imperial Pacific International LLC to reduce from 51 percent to 10 percent the statutorily mandated percentage of majority shareholder controlling interest. Reportedly the regulator agreed, although it was not clear from local media reports whether this might facilitate a change of control of the local unit.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has its own rules on change of control in parent companies listed on its boards.