Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., the casino venture between Lawrence Ho and Australian billionaire James Packer, approached banks seeking a loan to fund the development of a new project, four people familiar with the matter said.
Proceeds will be used to fund Melco Crown’s Studio City project in Macau, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The loan may be about $1.25 billion, two of the people said.
Studio City will be an integrated resort with a “theme and demographic focus” aimed at differentiating it from the company’s existing portfolio of assets, according to Melco Crown’s website. Details of the loan including its maturity and pricing have yet to be set, the people said. The company is about three to four weeks away from hiring banks, they said.
Melco Crown’s main asset in Macau is City of Dreams, a property which includes a casino, hotels and restaurants. The company last borrowed from banks in June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The $1.2 billion facility matures in 2016 and was arranged by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Bank of America Corp., Bank of China Ltd., Commerzbank AG and Deutsche Bank AG, the data show.
Melco Crown met with its existing lenders to discuss the new facility, one of the people said, declining to elaborate.