Genting Malaysia Announces New $100m Capital Injection into Empire Resorts
- Genting Malaysia Bhd is injecting a further US$100 million into Empire Resorts
- The gaming group’s total investment in Empire now sits at over US$720 million
- Gaming analysts react negatively to the latest injection
Genting Malaysia Bhd is boosting its investment in Empire Resorts Inc. via a new capital injection involving the subscription of 1,000 of the US-based gaming company’s “Series M” preferred stocks. In a filing this week, Genting disclosed that the injection will allow Empire to further optimize its capital structure by reducing its financial leverage and corresponding interest expense.
The latest move by Genting Malaysia was met with skepticism by analysts who expressed doubt about whether continuous injection of capital into Empire would bring favorable results for the group.
Genting Malaysia Shores Up Empire Investment
After suffering heavy losses for several years, Empire Resorts entered into a merger deal with Genting Malaysia Bhd in 2019 which saw the latter acquiring 13.2 million units of the US-based gaming operator’s common stock – held by Kien Huat Realty III – for US$128.6 million.
The latest injection, which will see Genting Malaysia subscribing to US$100 million worth of Empire’s Series M preferred stocks, will be used by Empire for working capital purposes and for the full repayment of an existing bank facility.
The Series M preferred stocks can be converted into common equity after December 31, 2030. To date, Genting Malaysia Bhd has already put in around US$624.4 million in Empire Resorts, which means the latest injection brings its total investment in the beleaguered company to US$724.4 million.
Empire currently operates a number of gaming properties in the US, including Resorts World Catskills which fully launched in January 2019, and Resorts World Hudson Valley which began operating in December 2022.
The fresh capital flow will enable Empire to focus on strengthening both businesses, with Genting Malaysia also aiming to reinforce its position and expand its presence in New York’s booming gaming market, according to the filing. The group is expected to join the bidding process for a full-scale casino license in downstate New York and is considered among the strongest contenders.
Latest Injection Receives Cold Welcome from Analysts
Genting Malaysia’s decision to boost its investment in Empire did not sit well with analysts, with Maybank Investment Bank Bhd downgrading its earnings estimate for the casino operator by MYR40 million [US$8.6 million] per annum. It also expanded its net debt forecast for the company by MYR465 million following the latest injection.
Analysts at PublicInvest Research are also negative on Genting Malaysia’s latest move, saying Empire will remain a loss-making unit in the near term.