Tycoon tables £115m Ambassadeurs bid

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The Independent Online

London Clubs confirmed yesterday that it had received a bid approach for its flagship Les Ambassadeurs casino in London, which is believed to have come from the Indonesian tycoon Putera Sampoerna. He is thought to have bid £115m for the casino, which achieves annual earnings (Ebitda) of £9m to £12m.

The news fuelled speculation that the sale could pave the way for a merger between London Clubs, Britain's third-biggest casino operator, and its bigger rival Stanley Leisure. The Malaysian casino operator Genting has built a 29.9 per cent stake in London Clubs and owns 22 per cent of Stanley Leisure. However, any deal between the companies would probably come under the Competition Commission's scrutiny as the combined businesses would own nearly half of London's casinos.

Nigel Parson, at Williams de Broë, said the decision to sell Les Ambassadeurs was the right one. "It's a volatile high-roller casino which does not sit easily in such a small quoted company. We believe that it has more value as a 'trophy asset,' or to a group with genuine high-roller international reach."

Takings at Les Ambassadeurs, in London, were badly hit in July and August after punters from overseas stayed away after the London bombings, but have since recovered.