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Cleared To Buy Interest In Christchurch Casino


18 May 2004

SKYCITY Entertainment Group gains Commerce commission clearance for interest in christchurch casino

SKYCITY Entertainment Group today welcomed the Commerce Commission's clearance of its purchase of a 40.5% minority shareholding in Christchurch Casinos Limited (CCL).

The acquisition remains conditional on approvals from the Overseas Investment Commission and the Casino Control Authority.

Once the remaining approvals are obtained, SKYCITY will proceed with the purchase of all of the shares in Aspinall (NZ) Limited (Aspinall) which holds shares directly and indirectly in CCL. The purchase price is NZ$93.75 million (on a debt free basis).

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Managing Director, Evan Davies, said that SKYCITY was naturally pleased with the Commission's ruling and was positive about the opportunity to finalise its acquisition of an interest in CCL.

"With Commerce Commission approval now in place SKYCITY looks forward to obtaining the remaining approvals and then working through the process to achieve the most constructive outcome for CCL," said Mr Davies.

Mr Davies said SKYCITY's acquisition of the shares in Aspinall and its interest in CCL was a logical extension of its New Zealand operations and in line with the company's investment strategy.

"Christchurch Casino is a well-managed, quality asset that has demonstrated strong growth performance over recent years and this is anticipated to continue. The investment is core business in SKYCITY's home market and, given the moratorium on new gaming businesses, an obvious choice for us."

"As we have said before, SKYCITY will continue to assess appropriate opportunities - both inside and outside New Zealand - to ensure the company's growth, diversification and ongoing success. We're confident that SKYCITY's involvement in Christchurch Casino will prove beneficial to both CCL's and SKYCITY's shareholders," said Mr Davies.


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