Les Ambassadeurs, one of London’s most exclusive casinos, has fallen into the hands of a Hong Kong-listed conglomerate in a £137 million deal.
Landing International Development, which operates the casino at the Hyatt Regency Jeju Hotel in South Korea, has bought the Mayfair institution from Twinwood.
Les A, as it is known, is one of the world’s plushest casinos, with high-rollers including Sir Philip Green, the retail billionaire, among past and present members.
The handsome Georgian building that houses Les A has a rich history, having been the residence of nobles and aristocrats, including Leopold de Rothschild, the City banker, who moved there in 1879.
The sale brings to an end almost a decade of ownership by the Sampoerna family, the Indonesian clove cigarette dynasty, who bought it from London Clubs International for £115 million.Putera Sampoerna has held on-off talks over a sale of the casino during this time with suitors including Mike Ashley, the Sport Direct billionaire, and Sheldon Adelson, the head of Las Vegas Sands, the American gaming giant.
Les A, which is next to the InterContinental hotel on Park Lane, has 45 gaming tables where punters can play roulette, baccarat, blackjack and poker. In the ten months to the end of October, the club reported “chip turnover” of £2.22 billion and gaming revenues of almost £16.5 million with underlying earnings of £3.16 million.
In the previous full year, chip revenues reached £5.31 billion, with gaming revenues of £104.9 million and earnings of £23.33 million.
In a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing, Landing said: “The gaming revenue for fiscal year 2014 achieved a year-over-year increase of approximately 167 per cent, mainly as a result of a few substantial losses by long-term players in July and August 2014.”