Stanley Ho, the billionaire casino entrepreneur, can debut his Macau gambling company on the Hong Kong stock exchange after a court rejected a legal challenge from his sister, Winnie Ho.
A justice rejected her argument that Sociedade de Jogos, or SJM, should not be listed because of her continuing litigation over SJM's parent company, one of 37 suits Winnie ho has filed related to the group's shareholding structure.
Stanley Ho, 85, can now move ahead with the $493 million initial public offering, scheduled for mid-July. He has said that most of the money raised will be spent on new casino projects.
"Investors may still have concerns since there's a good chance Winnie will file an appeal," said Kenny Tang, an associate director at Tung Tai Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg News. "For now, it looks like some retail investors borrowing on margin have withdrawn."
Ho held a tight grip on Macau's casino industry for 40 years, but in 2002 Macau allowed competition into the market, including U.S.-based Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Today, Ho operates 19 of Macau's 29 casinos. In 2007, he took in 40 percent of Macau's gaming revenue, down from 75 percent in 2005, Bloomberg reported.
Winnie and Stanley Ho went separate ways in 2001 after a major spat. Since then, Winnie has attempted to keep Stanley from listing SJM on the Hong Kong exchange. Winnie has also argued that she is owed dividends from SJM.
Stanley Ho is worth over $9 billion, according to Forbes magazine.