Silver Heritage says talks on capital raising continue

Australia-listed Silver Heritage Group said talks are continuing with potential investors to raise funding to finalize its integrated resort project in Nepal.

In a filing with the Australian Stock Exchange, the group said it expected the process to take about a further three weeks. It requested that its shares remain suspended from trading in the interim.

Talks are ongoing with equity capital investors and holders of its senior secured bonds, it said. Once the financing is complete, it expects to be able to open the Tiger Palace resort within the revised timeframe provided.

In March, the company increased the budget for its integrated resort in Nepal by A$18 million ($13.8 million) to $70.3 million and said the timing for the completion of the IR will be staged, with the completion of hospitality areas by August, with the remainder of the facilities available by November.

The company warned on Feb. 1 that the opening of the resort had faced unexpected delays and costs had overrun and asked for its shares to be suspended from trading until it could provide further clarity. The original cost had been estimated at $52.3 million.

Silver Heritage said the project had run over budget due to variations from the original plan for the casino and public areas, as well as land improvements. It also faced issues with costs arising from local contractors and delays in gaining approval from the Nepal Central Bank to raise the equity ceiling for the local operating unit. This affected the company’s ability to remit money into the country.

The Tiger Palace Resort will be Nepal’s first integrated resort once it opens. Near the border with India, it’s hoping to capitalize on pent up demand in that country, where gambling is illegal.

India will have the world’s largest middle class consumption on an annual basis by 2030 at ca. US$12.8 trillion (vs. US$10 trillion in China.). Uttar Pradesh, the adjacent state to Bhairahawa, has a population of 215 million, while the whole country has a population of 1.3 billion.

The company also appointed a new team to manage the project led by Adam Titus, who has had more than 30 years of experience opening more than 10 gaming and leisure developments across Asia and globally. Most recently he has been involved with MGM Macau and the Okada Manila.