Sun International in R1.5 billion arbitration dispute with firm that wants to buy it out

The Palace at Sun City Resort.
The Palace at Sun City Resort.
Getty Images
  • Earlier this week, Chilean company Nueva Inversiones Pacifico Sur (IPS) said it had made a formal proposal to the board of Sun International expressing an interest in buying a majority of its shares. 
  • Sun International says in January it already referred IPS to a international dispute resolution body after a $85.8-billion share deal involving one of its subsidiaries collapsed.
  • IPS and Sun International are at odds over what occurred during the transaction.


Sun International has revealed that in January, it referred the Chilean company that earlier in the week said it wanted to buy a majority of its shares to an international dispute resolution body after a share deal fell through. 

The arbitration dispute concerns the non-payment of $85.8 million (R1.49 billion) for shares in one of Sun International's subsidiaries. 

This comes two days after Nueva Inversiones Pacifico Sur (IPS) said in a media release it had made a formal proposal to the board of Sun International expressing its interest in buying 50.1% of the resort hotel and casino operator's shares. 

Sun International immediately hit back at the claim, saying it had not received a formal offer from IPS, and the letter was just the latest in a series of "unsolicited" and "non-binding" proposals.

It also blamed IPS for causing speculation inits share price. 

IPS noted in its statement on Wednesday it was already in a dispute with Sun International over the sale of 15% of the shares in Sun Dreams to IPS. 

Sun Dreams is the Latin American subsidiary of Sun International's operating casinos and hotels. IPS already owns about 35% of Sun Dreams' shares. 

IPS said the deal had been referred to arbitration after "certain conditions precedent were not fulfilled". 

But on Friday Sun International said this description was incorrect, and that IPS had walked away from the transaction. 

Sun International said the Chilean company had agreed to buy a 14.94% stake in Sun Dreams for $85.8 million (approximately R 1.49 billion at current exchange rates), subject to being given the go-ahead by the Superintendency for Gambling Casinos in Chile.

The group said that after the go-ahead was received, IPS "addressed a letter to Sun Latam purporting to terminate the transaction, and failed to close the transaction".

The dispute is only expected to be heard in 2021. 

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