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Aspinalls withdraw from Christchurch Casino

Media Release – June 28, 2004

Aspinalls happy to withdraw 10 years after setting up Christchurch Casino

British company Aspinalls announced today that it has completed the sale of its 40.5 percent stake in Christchurch Casinos Limited to SkyCity Entertainment.

Aspinalls signed the $93 million deal with the country’s largest casino operator on April 5 this year. Since then the Commerce Commission, the Overseas Investment Commission and the Casino Control Authority have granted regulatory approval for the transaction.

Christchurch Casinos Limited owns and operates the Christchurch Casino, which opened in November 1994. The casino currently operates 500 gaming machines, 45 gaming tables, two restaurants and three bars.

Aspinalls’ managing director James Osborne said from London today that SkyCity, which already has a stake in four of the country’s six casinos, was well placed to add value to the Christchurch Casino.

``We have been with Christchurch Casino for almost 10 years,’’ Mr Osborne said today.

``When we first opened there was some concern because we were an overseas owner. We feel that our international experience has greatly benefited what was the first casino in New Zealand”.

Christchurch Casino is regarded as a well-managed, quality asset that has maintained solid growth performance over recent years.

Osborne said Aspinalls would be leaving Christchurch Casino in good heart and strong shape.


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