Callum Mallert, the acting general manager at SkyCity Darwin has denied the reports of a decision to sell any of its casinos. The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that SkyCity Darwin management had started approaching investors in March.
It is understood that the decision was taken after the records revealed that one of the SkyCity’s assets, Darwin Casino was under performing and had probed the sale. It is believed that the sale also has to do with the recent announcement of the resignation of Nigel Morrison, the CEO. Morrison announced that he would leave the company by the end of April. Several other assets have been linked to the “For Sale” tag that include a handful of hotels in Auckland and car-park facilities.
Meanwhile, Mallert has rebuffed the reports as just rumours. He goes on to say SkyCity Darwin is an important part of SkyCity’s portfolio and that they are not contemplating any sale.
SkyCity Darwin Sale to proceed in the near future?
Although Mallert vehemently denied any sale of Darwin Casino, he also indicated that should any good and tempting offer come along, it may be considered.
This does not move away from the fact that another hotel in Auckland, The Hobson Street hotel, is still awaiting the suitable buyer. A company spokesperson has been quoted in the media saying “We have been saying for some time that we’re seeking expressions of interest on the [Auckland] Hobson Street Hotel but there is no news to report as yet”.
One can then speculate that since the Hobson Street Hotel is not attractive to the markets, the management may look into selling another asset to balance the books. This is also the point where AFR concluded that “one theory suggests that by selling off some non-core assets, the gaming player will effectively be able to curtail any need in the next few years for a capital raising”