Posted on: July 22, 2022, 07:11h.
Last updated on: July 22, 2022, 02:34h.
When Nagasaki began exploring possible locations for an integrated resort (IR), it didn’t take long before it settled on the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo City. Nonetheless, the owners of the park that conjures up visions of being deep in the guts of Holland, not halfway all over the world in Japan, may be seeking to sell the property.
Japan-based travel agency H.I.S. is reportedly shopping around for a buyer for the park, in line with Kyodo News. The still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has produced travel restrictions which have weakened the corporate’s financial health. Consequently, selling the property could also be a big method to gain strength.
Nagasaki, alongside casino operator Casinos Austria, envisions the IR rising on a 76-acre plot simply to the west of the theme park. The prefecture is one in every of only two – Osaka being the opposite – that presented proposals to host the casino properties in April.
Cauterizing the Financial Bleeding
The continuing pandemic, which recently caused Macau to suffer a significant setback, led H.I.S. to incur losses of 29.6 billion yen ($194 million) between November 2021 and April 2022. Consequently, it finds itself in a desperate situation to stop further drops, and selling Huis Ten Bosch will be the best alternative.
The travel agency holds two-thirds of the shares in the corporate behind the theme park. It hopes to receive “tens of billions of yen” in exchange for its stake. While it didn’t offer a more precise figure, JPY20 billion is such as US$145.26 million.
We’re considering various plans, resembling the transfer of shares to enhance Huis Ten Bosch’s corporate and stock value. But no specific decision has been made presently,” said H.I.S. in an announcement.
The corporate didn’t specify if it had any serious offers. However the prospects of operating a theme park next to the brand new IR should receive quite a lot of interest. There’s reportedly a minimum of one candidate, an investment firm out of Hong Kong.
Along with H.I.S., minority shareholders resembling Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Railway Co. will sell their stakes as well. If Huis Ten Bosch does change hands, H.I.S. asserts that it should proceed to operate as a theme park under the brand new ownership.
The loss H.I.S. reported for the recent six-month period was its largest ever. Consequently, along with selling the theme park, it’s cutting off other ancillary operations which were underperforming. This includes its sale of HTB Energy Co., a power-retailing subsidiary.
Huis Ten Bosch Stays Strong
Investors know to purchase low and sell high, which is where Huis Ten Bosch is currently. Despite the losses H.I.S. is attempting to overcome, the corporate behind the theme park is robust. From October 2021 to March 2022, it recorded an operating profit of JPY300 million (US$2.18 million). Through the same six months a 12 months earlier, it saw a lack of JPY200 million (US$1.45 million).
Huis Ten Bosch opened 30 years ago and spans 375 acres. In 1996, 4 years after it opened, it reached annual traffic of three.8 million visitors. Nonetheless, seven years later, it filed for bankruptcy following a sudden and unexpected drop-off.
H.I.S. purchased the property in 2010. After years of rebuilding its place as the most important theme park in Japan, it found its groove. Unfortunately, that was just before the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing back the struggles the park experienced for years.
Japan remains to be in mourning following the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Nonetheless, the country’s plans to introduce IRs proceed. The federal government could approve Nagasaki’s and Osaka’s plans – or one or the opposite – sometime this fall.