Court dismisses challenge against SJM’s HK listing

Hong Kong (Reuters) – Macau’s SJM Holdings, the casino flagship of tycoon Stanley Ho, overcame a last-minute hurdle to listing on the Hong Kong stock market when a court ruled on Wednesday against a case disputing the deal.

Stanley Ho’s sister, Winnie Ho, had sought a judicial review in Hong Kong’s high court of regulatory decisions allowing the scaled-back USD 494 million initial public offering of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) Holdings Ltd to proceed.

The firm earlier on Wednesday delayed its trading debut from July 10 to July 16 and said successful share applicants could choose to receive refunds.

Winnie Ho has filed more than 30 lawsuits against her brother in recent years, according to SJM‘s listing prospectus. She said on Wednesday, before the court’s decision, that she would appeal if the judge ruled against her judicial review.

SJM had hoped to raise USD 1 billion in an IPO in January, but shelved the plan amid a weak stock market and queries made by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission regarding the shareholding structure of SJM‘s parent firm.

Media have reported that Stanley Ho and Winnie Ho have been locked in a legal dispute over the shareholding structure of SJM‘s parent, the Stanley Ho-controlled Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM).

SJM is one of six licensed gaming operators in Macau. At the end of 2007, it owned 18 of the 28 casinos in Macau, with 1,412 tables and 3,702 slot machines.