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Indonesian Billionaire in UK Casino Talks

10 February 2006

LONDON – As reported by Forbes: "Smoke and mirrors. Putera Sampoerna, an Indonesian cigarette billionaire who ranks 13th on Forbes' list of Southeast Asia's 40 Richest is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire private member's club Les Ambassadeurs, London's most sumptuous casino.

"A spokesman for London Clubs International confirmed to Forbes that it had received an approach for 'Les A'--as the flagship club is affectionately known--but refused to speculate on a suitor or price for a the gilt-lined converted mansion, which overlooks Hyde Park. A couple of Les A's punters are Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and apparel billionaire Philip Green.

"Sampoerna, who is also believed to be a long-standing member of the club, is worth about $2 billion after selling his family's clove kretek cigarette business to Altria, the U.S. tobacco concern formerly known as Philip Morris, for $5.2 billion a year ago…"

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