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Macau’s Hollywood-Themed Casino Studio City Seeks IPO

Studio City, the Hollywood-themed casino resort in Macau, is planning an IPO in the U.S., the company said. It was opened in October 2015 by Martin Scorsese, Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert De Niro, James Packer and Brett Ratner, with Mariah Carey in attendance to provide musical numbers.

The company’s own numbers were not disclosed. Studio City International Holdings said that it had filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission a draft registration statement for a public offering of American Depositary Shares. Studio City’s financial performance, along with the volume of shares to be sold, and the amount of new capital raised were all kept confidential.

The NASDAQ-listed Melco Resorts & Entertainment is the developer behind Studio City. Billionaire media owner James Packer and Lawrence Ho, son of gambling mogul Stanley Ho, are major stakeholders of Melco. Packer sold his shares in Studio City in May.

Macau grew rapidly to vastly exceed Las Vegas in terms of gambling turnover. But the former Portuguese colony which is now a special administrative region within China, has recently a setback as China wages a campaign against corruption, money laundering and local government profligacy.

Fortunes have improved in recent months and operations like Studio City, that provide a diversity of other entertainment options, are best placed to succeed. Studio City is part of the City of Dreams cluster and boasts 4,000 sq m of indoor event space a 5,000 seater arena, a “Batman Dark Flight” 4D ride, a Warner Bros. Fun Zone, and “The Golden Reel,” a figure-8 Ferris wheel.

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