PANAMA, REPUBLIC OF PANAMA–(Marketwire – Aug. 20, 2010) – Thunderbird Resorts Inc. (“Thunderbird” or “Group”) (FRANKFURT:4TR)(EURONEXT:TBIRD) reports the following: Thunderbird announces that it has completed the sale of its 63.63% stake in its six Panama casinos to the Panama based subsidiary of CODERE, S.A. a leading gaming company engaged in the management of gaming machines, bingo halls, casinos, racetracks and betting locations in Latin America, Spain, and Italy.
The sale price for the shares was approximately $38.0 million for our 63.63% stake. For financial statement reporting purposes the Group has been reporting the results from these operations as “discontinued operations” on its consolidated statement of comprehensive income and as “assets held for sale” on its consolidated statement of financial position. The Group will record a gain on the sale of stock of approximately $14.5 million in the 3rd quarter of 2010 and will report an additional gain of $4.2 million ratably over the next two years. Certain withholding taxes due from the sale and the costs of the transaction will be paid out of the sale proceeds. This transaction results in a significant improvement in the Group’s balance sheet through the reduction in consolidated Group debt of approximately $46.8 million ($30.8 million used to pay down debt and elimination from our consolidated financials of $16.0 million of Panama operational level debt) along with a significant improvement in the overall cash flows of the Group.
The six Panama casinos have been operated under long term property lease arrangements, under which the Group has been unable to build its balance sheet or obtain long term financing. Despite the Group’s success in Panama, the sale of the Panama casinos, while financially beneficial and necessary is also consistent with the Group’s strategy to develop, own and operate integrated resorts anchored by casinos. Since there are very few international operators targeting the investment size projects of the Group, the Group believes this strategy provides the best balance of operating results and balance sheet performance.
Thunderbird has had tremendous success in Panama over the past 11 years and is very appreciative of the hard work and dedication of our valued employees.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
We are an international provider of branded casino and hospitality services, focused on markets in Central and, South America, Southeast Asia and India. Our mission is to “create extraordinary experiences for our guests”. Additional information about the Group is available on its World Wide Web site at www.thunderbirdresorts.com.
Cautionary Notice: This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the securities laws and regulations of various international, federal, and state jurisdictions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential revenue and future plans and objectives of the Group are forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties. There can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Group’s forward-looking statements include competitive pressures, unfavorable changes in regulatory structures, and general risks associated with business, all of which are disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the Group’s documents filed from time-to-time with the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam and other regulatory authorities.