|London Clubs International (LCI), one of the UK’s most established casino chains is in danger of going under, a rare occurrence for land-based casino chains. |
Unless LCI, operator of some of the most prestigious casinos in London, manages to offload some of its assets or finds a partner to invest funds in the group, it faces closing some or all of its casino operations.
Several parties have considered a bid for LCI, including Australian tycoon Kerry Packer; Sol Kerzner, the gaming entrepreneur who created South Africa's Sun City; and some of the major global casino operators such as Las Vegas' Park Place and MGM Mirage.
LCI's debts of more than £230 million ($360 million) have scared off several potential investors, although it has now reached agreements with its lenders to extend existing debt facilities and reduce interest rates on some of its borrowings for a further two years.
Should LCI explore the option of selling off some of its assets, it has some of London's more salubrious casinos, including Les Ambassadeurs, The Golden Nugget and 50 St James.
The company is rumoured to favour selling off its assets rather than a joint venture. “The problem is the ones they want to sell are not the ones people want to buy,” said one banker.