4 Apr 2019

Australian firm to run SkyCity carparks in Auckland

10:14 am on 4 April 2019

Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment is selling a concession to run its carparks in Auckland to an Australian investment fund.

SkyCity signage

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

It said it had given Macquarie Principal Finance Group a 29-year concession to run the carparks for $220 million.

"[The] transaction is consistent with group strategy and intention to go 'capital lighter' releasing capital by divesting selected property and other non-core assets. (We) plan to recycle capital into higher returning investments and strategic opportunities," the company said in a presentation.

The day-to-day management of the 3,200 parks will be handled by Care Park, which will be able to charge market prices.

The concession will run until mid-2048, which is when SkyCity's gaming licence expires.

SkyCity will retain ownership of the land, buildings, and be responsible for maintenance. Its customers and staff will also have a guaranteed number of spaces and the casino will have a preference for parking for special events.

The company has been selling off underperforming and non-core assets, including its Darwin casino, to bolster its finances as it moves to counter slowing growth and to fund major projects in Auckland and Adelaide.

SkyCity said it would use the sale money to reduce its debt but the sale will hit its operating earnings by between $17.5m and $20m over the next couple of years in lost income.

It's also signalled that it wants to build more hotels to diversify its business.

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