New York State’s Empire Resorts has struck a deal that will see the property be acquired by affiliates of Kien Huat Realty and Genting Malaysia Berhad.

The agreement concerns all of the outstanding equity of the company not currently owned by Kien Huat, the family trust controlled by Genting chairman KT Lim, or its affiliates, for $9.74 per share.

Kien Huat is currently the holder of approximately 86 per cent of Empire Resorts’ outstanding shares of common stock, with the price representing a premium of approximately 15 per cent over the closing share price on August 16, 2019. 

Ryan Eller, president and CEO of Empire Resorts, said of the agreement: “With the resources and support of Kien Huat and Genting Malaysia, Empire Resorts will be better positioned financially and operationally, which will help us advance our mission of delivering a winning combination of luxury facilities, quality entertainment and exceptional customer service. 

“This transaction is a win-win for all our stakeholders, including our stockholders, customers, employees, creditors and the communities in which we operate. 

“Importantly, we expect our employees will benefit from new opportunities for career development as part of a larger organisation. I look forward to working closely with Kien Huat and Genting Malaysia to seamlessly complete the transaction.”

The transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year, was approved by Empire’s board of directors on the unanimous recommendation of the previously formed special committee of independent directors.

Empire owns and operates Resorts World Catskills, a casino resort located approximately 90 miles from New York City, as well as the nearby Monticello Raceway, a harness horseracing facility.

Keith Horn, independent director of Empire Resorts and chair of the special committee, added: “We are pleased to reach this agreement and provide immediate certain cash value to our stockholders. 

“Kien Huat has been a true partner for Empire Resorts, and we look forward to welcoming Genting Malaysia into our ongoing relationship. With Kien Huat and Genting Malaysia, we will be part of an extensive and attractive organisation with enhanced scale and global reach. 

“Importantly, Kien Huat has agreed to provide incremental credit support to Empire Resorts, which will enable the company to meet its debt obligations as we continue to execute on our business strategy.”