The business announced the proposed name change in a statement to investors, in which it said that it hoped the new name could bring “a new atmosphere to the company’s corporate image and identity”.
In its reasons for the new name, the business said it was principally involved with four resort operations. Junkets in Macau had previously been its main business channel, but a combination of scandals directly related to the business, the market situation in Macau and general crackdowns on the junket sector had led to de-emphasis of this area.
Unmentioned was the March posting of a HK$646.2m (£62.8m/€74.0m/US$82.6m) 2021 pre-tax net loss for the company, or the arrest of Alvin Chau, the majority shareholder and former chairman accused of running an illegal gambling business.
The arrest was the catalyst for SunCity closing the VIP rooms that it operated at all six of the Macau concessionaires and sub-concessionaires.
These adverse events led to SunCity stating in its report that “conditions indicate the existence of material uncertainties which may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”.
The loss in revenue came, in part, from the collapse of SunCity’s core junket business which fell HK$123.8m in revenue in 2020 – itself a steep decline from 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic – to HK$42.8m in 2021. The company totally discontinued the business from 1 December following Chau’s arrest.
In April, with the business facing existential questions, the board announced a plan to survive:
“The board has also ordered the company to consolidate all resources to focus on survival. Intense cash preservation is the group’s highest priority.
“The group is now implementing the most uncompromising cost-cutting programme ever. Non-core businesses have been sold and will continue to be sold, such as the disposal of the mainland Chinese property business and the aircraft in 2021.
“As the group continues to transform into a pan-Asian integrated resort operator, the group will be targeting all traditional gaming business segments, including VIP, premium mass, mass, slots and non-gaming businesses.”
The name change still must be approved by the shareholders and the Registrar of Companies in the Cayman Islands.