Hong Kong investment group makes a high-powered bid for Sasebo IR

On Saturday the Hong Kong investment firm Oshidori International Holdings organized a high-powered event in Fukuoka with the apparent objective of forming the consortium which will partner with Nagasaki Prefecture to build an IR at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park.

The incipient consortium appeared to have the backing of some central government politicians, and both Nagasaki prefectural and Sasebo city officials were present. Introductory comments were offered by House of Representatives lawmaker Seigo Kitamura (LDP, Nagasaki) and by Kiyohiko Toyama (Kyushu).

One of the main guests of honor was Eugene Chuang, chairman emeritus at HEC Capital Limited.

Bringing the gaming industry experience was William Weidner, best known as the former president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands who played a key role in building Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the Venetian Macao before his acrimonious split with Chairman Sheldon Adelson in 2009. More recently, Weidner was involved in the Solaire IR in Manila as well as the very unsuccessful venture of the Lucky Dragon casino in Las Vegas.

Weidner is now being presented as the chief operating officer of Crimson International Japan, which is apparently a Tokyo-based IR planning company. His colleagues are Chairman David Marshall and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Lindsey.

Weidner told one newspaper that they are planning a JPY400 billion (about $3.7 billion) investment in the Sasebo IR, which would include such facilities as aquariums and monorails aside from the basic IR requirements.