Galaxy Buys into Monaco

As the slump in Macau drags on, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.—the Chinese territory’s most profitable gaming operator—is buying a piece of a Monaco resort operator, Societe des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers a Monaco, or SBM (Hotel Paris at left).

Operator is partly state-owned

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., which just topped the list as the most profitable gaming operator in Macau, has acquired a piece of a Monaco resort company, according to Bloomberg News.

The firm controlled by billionaire Lui Che-Woo has bought 5 percent of the shares of Societe des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers a Monaco, or SBM, the company has confirmed. It did not disclose the third-party seller or the sale price.

“We see it as a potential to develop a strategic long-term partnership with them,” Galaxy spokesman Peter Caveny told Bloomberg.

In a separate transaction, leading luxury design company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE also said it would acquire a 5 percent in the Monte-Carlo based company.

The government of Monaco owns 34 percent of SBM, which owns the Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Casino Café de Paris, as well as luxury hotels, restaurants and night clubs, according to its website. Gross gaming revenue is expected to drop 30 percent for the year, according to multiple analyst forecasts.