Mega Bank defers Donaco’s multi-million dollar payment

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
Donaco doesn’t plan to sell properties despite financial challenges 

Casino and hotel company Donaco International has welcomed the deferral of a payment owed to its principal lender.

Market Herald reports the company’s main lender, Mega International Commercial Bank Company was owed US$5.5 million by June 15.

However, the bank has agreed to defer the principal payment until December 31, 2020.

The lender also agreed to waive all the Facility Agreement’s covenants for June 2020 until the same date.

This includes the financial covenant about the Donaco Hong Kong 2020 Interest Coverage Ratio and Debt to EBITDA.

It also includes the covenant that Donaco’s aggregate amount of cash and cash equivalent investments should stay above A$20 million after June 30, 2020.

In its announcement, the company expressed gratitude for the financial respite during a period of widespread hardship.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the company through its casino and hotel businesses.

“Donaco welcomes this support from Mega Bank, and extends thanks for the consideration given in supporting Donaco.

“The company continues to be impacted by COVID-19 related travel restrictions and subsequent reduced patronage at Star Vegas and Aristo,” the announcement said.

Donaco is continuing to consider options which would allow the company to survive the current economic uncertainty.

These possible options include liquidity measures and sources of capital injection, which will keep the business sustainable and dynamic.

However, Donaco must first pay off its debts.

The company has agreed that proceeds from any capital injection before December 31 will go towards settling the principal payment owed.

Donaco International shares were trading for 4.8 cents at 4pm on Wednesday, down 4 per cent from the start of trade.

Donaco still searching for its next CEO

Donaco International has announced that chief executive Paul Arbuckle will serve as chief executive on a month-to-month basis to continue assisting the company through the transition period to a new CEO.

ABN Newswire reported earlier this month that Mr Arbuckle’s final day with the company was expected to be June 4, following the announcement of his interim status in December, 2019.

The Donaco board welcomes Mr Arbuckle’s continuing support and believes it will allow a smooth transition to a new CEO.

Under the executive search process, the board said it has interviewed a number of quality candidates for the CEO position that are currently under consideration and it is seeking to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Donaco’s largest business is its Cambodian casino in the town of Poipet – Star Vegas Resort and Club.

Established in 1999, it is the largest and highest quality of the Poipet casino hotels, according to Donaco.

The venue boasts more than 100 gaming tables, more than 1400 slot machines and 385 hotel rooms.

Donaco’s flagship business is the Aristo International Hotel, a successful boutique casino in northern Vietnam, located on the Chinese border.

Established in 2002, the property has been recently expanded to a new five-star resort complex with 400 resorts.

Donaco owns 95 per cent of the business, in a joint venture with the Government of Vietnam.

Donaco releases first quarter figures

Australian casino operator Donaco International says its first quarter revenue has fallen 58.7 per cent year-on-year due to three months being “significantly impacted” by coronavirus and regional travel restrictions.

GGR Asia reported in May that revenue for the quarter ending March 31 was A$10.53 million, compared to $25.50 million in the first quarter of 2019.

The company recorded negative earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of A$1.13 million for the March quarter.

This compares to a positive EBITDA of A$10.82 million a year earlier.

Donaco’s flagship venue is the Star Vegas Resort and Club near the Cambodian border with Thailand.

Its Aristo International Hotel and associated casino are in Vietnam, near the border with China.

The firms operations in both properties have been suspended since April 1 due to coronavirus.

In its latest filing, Donaco said the Star Vegas property recorded revenue of A$.837 million and $500,000 EBITDA.

This is down 60.4 per cent and 93.5 per cent respectively from the same period a year ago.

The Aristo complex had revenue of A$2.6 million and EBIDTA of A$500,000, a year-on-year decline of 60 per cent and 87 per cent respectively.

The company said it had a negative cash flow from operations of A$5.1 million and that the group’s net debt increased from A$50.9 million to A$60.8 million in year-on-year terms.

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