Echo Entertainment shares rose today after a botched share raid yesterday evening was taken as a sign that the battle of the billionaires on its share register has heated up again.
Investors confirmed to BusinessDay that RBS was in the market Thursday evening for 40 million shares at $3.90.
This was just a 5 cents a share premium to the stock’s previous close and too little to tempt shareholders who also have James Packer’s Crown Ltd on the register.
Crown is seeking to lift its 10 per cent stake to 25 per cent if granted permission by the casino regulator.
It is understood that RBS could have picked up 20 million shares at $4 each but that window of opportunity has passed with shares today rising more than 3.6 per cent to as high as $3.99.
Genting’s Singapore operation sold 39.6 million Echo shares last month at $3.99, but Genting’s Hong Kong operation, which owns a 4.2 per cent stake in Echo, stated that it still intended to lift its stake above 10 per cent if permitted by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.
The ILGA has said that Genting is seeking permission to lift its stake to 25 per cent and asked for submissions on Genting’s suitability to be associated with the owner of Sydney’s The Star casino.
ILGA said submissions have to be received by October 26.