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Aussie Casino Eyes $30 Million Raising

21 October 2002

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: ``Casino and resort operator Burswood is understood to have begun canvassing investors about raising up to $30 million in new equity as a funding deadline for full ownership of the Burswood Hotel looms, potentially putting further strain on the group's flagging share price.

``Burswood has until the end of February to pay the final $67 million outstanding on the $104 million purchase of the five-star Burswood Hotel, just as sections of the market brace for a fall in tourism.

``Investment bank ABN-AMRO is believed to have approached fund managers on behalf of Burswood to gauge their interest in a possible capital raising to help fund the acquisition.

``Some of those investors approached are thought to have responded cautiously to the prospect of a share issue. They feel Burswood, given its patchy earnings history over the past two years, may have to offer the shares at a sizeable discount to attract enough interest.

``…However, one fund manager remarked that if the offer was priced low enough "this could be a good opportunity".

``… a spokeswoman for the company said the group was not in a position to reveal its intentions.

``Burswood shares are already under pressure after the company reported a first-quarter loss of $2.8 million.

``The result, largely the product of international gamblers hitting on a winning streak, was significantly in arrears of expectations and at this stage means Burswood will struggle to increase full year earnings…"

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