Genting’s Planned Miami Waterfront Land Sale Will Not Take Place as Buyer Withdraws Bid

Genting's Planned Miami Waterfront Land Sale Will Not Take Place as Buyer Withdraws BidMalaysian gambling giant Genting has announced the planned sale of its 15.5-acre site on Biscayne Bay in Downtown Miami fell through after the local developer SmartCity Miami LLC requested changes to the terms of the deal and an extension of its exclusivity. The news comes after the two companies signed a preliminary agreement at the end of April this year. In a joint statement, it was suggested that SmartCity Miami might continue to pursue the acquisition of the land, but no further information was provided.

As reported by BonusInsider at the end of April, Genting entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with SmartCity Miami LLC to dispose of its 15.5 acres of land in downtown Miami – the largest undeveloped waterfront property in the city. Genting purchased the land in 2011 for just $236 million.

The company planned to build a first-class casino resort on the site, but its attempt to secure a casino license in the state failed. Thus, Genting decided to put the land up for sale. After a bidding process, the company announced that it would sell its four parcels totaling 15.5 acres to SmartCity Miami LLC, led by Miami-based Terra and Chief Executive Officer David Martin, for $1.225 billion.

In April, the two companies finalized the terms of the acquisition deal, which had to be closed this summer. SmartCity Miami LLC was given 60 days to conduct due diligence on the site, and 60 more days to close the deal. But as the deadline for closing the deal approached, SmartCity Miami withdrew its bid.

Genting Ready to Review New Bids for Its Land, While Eyeing to Expand Operations in New York

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, it was explained that SmartCity Miami LLC wanted an extension to its 120-day exclusivity period and changes to the terms of the deal. Genting, on the other hand, did not agree with the buyer’s requirements, which led to the cancellation of the deal.

Although the statement suggests that the two companies will continue negotiating, Genting announced it is open to other bids close to the one offered by SmartCity Miami. After it became clear that the deal would not go through, the shares of Genting Malaysia dropped by 2%.

Only several days ago, shareholders of Genting Malaysia greenlit the $1.2-billion sale deal in a bid to benefit from the sudden increase in property prices. If the deal went through, the casino giant would realize a profit of $967 million. In April, Genting explained that it would invest the money from the sale into its New York casino venture. The Malaysian casino giant is among the strongest contenders for one of the three full casino licenses in New York.

Currently, New York hosts two gambling facilities, known as racinos, which also operate slot machines and other electronic games. One of the racinos, the Resorts World at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, is operated by Genting, while the other one, the Empire City racino in Yonkers, is owned by MGM Resorts. According to Gary Pretlow, a member of the New York State Assembly and co-chair of the Committee on Racing and Gaming, the two companies are likely to secure a full casino license.