Firich joins Lawrence Ho’s Russian venture

Firich Enterprises Co. is to join with Melco International Development Ltd. and Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd. to invest in casino hotel projects in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone around Vladivostok. Under the revised plan, Russia’s Oriental Regent Ltd. will pay $12.2 million to raise its stake in First Gambling Co. of the Far East, which holds a Primorye operating license, to 100 percent from 50 percent and Summit, Firich and Melco will in turn take stakes of 46 percent, 19 percent and 5 percent in Oriental Regent.

Firich, which makes slot machines and is listed on Taiwan’s GreTai market, is to pay up to $18.9 million for its shares and then add $3.5 million in equity funding. Summit will put in $31.5 million and is to collect 3 percent of gross revenue under a management contract to run First Gambling’s first casino. Melco will put in $3.4 million and collect 0.3 percent of gross revenue as a gaming consultant. First Gambling $130 million casino hotel project is to include 119 guest rooms, 25 VIP tables, 40 mass market tables and about 800 slot machines, and is to open next September.