Investment firm GCM Ltd. of Japan is reportedly set to infuse fresh capital to the pro-jects spearheaded by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC on Saipan, according to a story on the gaming news website, iag.com.
That would make GCM Ltd. IPI’s first foreign investor and could jumpstart Phase 1 of the casino-hotel operator’s integrated resort project.
Saipan Tribune tried to obtain confirmation and other comments from local IPI officials but they have yet to respond as of press time.
The website quotes IPI as saying in its filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that GCM would be its newest investor. The announcement came just one day after the CNMI Lottery Commission approved to again amend portions of the casino license agreement.
IPI had asked the Lottery Commission to amend the shareholder controlling interest—a move that could bring in new monies and diversify the company’s portfolio. The CLA states that IPI’s controlling interest must not go below 51 percent.
GCM is reportedly investing $500 million in the first phase of the planned integrated resort, to be built at the northern part of Saipan. The financial advice and investment information firm had already deposited $100 million with the company last Wednesday.
IPI chief executive officer Mark Brown said they have invited hundreds of investors—individuals, corporations or their representatives—to look into their multimillion-dollar projects in the CNMI. They hosted 200 investors a few weeks ago while another 100 are set to arrive soon.
In an earlier interview, Brown said the interest among investors is there, with many of them being captured by the islands’ idyllic charm. “They are looking at our company and what our plans here.”
He said that they have explained IPI’s plans and other projects in the CNMI, hence their request to allow them to offer more shares. “To have more investors and basically to have more partners coming in to Saipan so our company grows and the CNMI grows with it.”
IPI is reportedly going to partially open the 15 villas of Imperial Palace Saipan, its in-itial gaming facility in Garapan, later this year. The villa portion is located near the beach side of the construction project.
Imperial Palace Saipan, once completed, will have over 300 luxury rooms, 14,140 square meters of gaming area, and other amenities offered by a five-star casino-hotel re-sort.