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HCI Acquisition Needs More Approvals

19 December 2005

SOUTH AFRICA – As reported by the South Africa Moneyweb: "Although Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) has obtained control of gaming rival Johnnic, it has yet to obtain stamps of approval from various gambling boards across the country.

"South African gaming laws require an application for consent to be made at the provincial gaming board in which an affected casino is located when a company obtains an interest in holders of gambling licences.

"Regarding competition issues, HCI got approval for its takeover of Johnnic from the Competition Tribunal on December 7, on condition that it sells Johnnic-owned conference and exhibition centre Gallagher Estate by December 7 2006.

"Johnnic's gaming assets comprise a 28,6% effective interest in KwaZulu-Natal's Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World, and a 4,85% stake in Tsogo Sun Holdings.

"In turn, there are five casinos in the Tsogo stable: Suncoast, Hemingways in East London, Montecasino in Fourways, The Ridge Casino and Entertainment Resort in Mpumalanga and Emnotweni Casino in Nelspruit.

"As such, HCI needs to get clearance from the KwaZulu-Natal Gambling Board, Mpumalanga Gaming Board (for The Ridge and Emnotweni), Gauteng Gambling Board and Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board (for Hemingways) for the transaction…"

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