Suncity ups stake in Summit Ascent to almost 28 percent

Suncity Group Holdings has bought a further 24.68 percent stake in Summit Ascent Holdings for HK$717.8 million ($91.5 million) as it seeks to build an “integrated tourism-related platform.”

The purchase takes the group’s total interest in the operator of the Tigre de Cristal in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone to almost 28 percent. The price per share was HK$1.94, which represents a premium of about 31.08 percent to the closing price as of the April 23rd date of the agreement, Suncity said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Commenting on its reasons for the acquisition, Suncity said the group wants to build an integrated tourism-related platform through equity investments as well as provide tourism-related services to the resorts.  

“The company aims to increase its investment in tourism related property projects regions other than China, among which, the company believes that Russia is a favorable place for investment,” it said in the filing.

Russia was in the top three, after the United Kingdom and France, most popular European travel destinations for Chinese tourists in 2018. In 2017, nearly 1.8 million Chinese citizens travelled to Russia.

Suncity said the timing was right for the acquisition as Summit Ascent is about to start on the phase 2 expansion of the resort and the stake will give it more influence in the project.

The group has a stake in the Hoiana resort in Vietnam, which is scheduled to open later this year and is also discussing a possible venture with South Korea’s Paradise Co regarding its property in Busan.