Genting Hong Kong, the cruise line owned by Genting Chairman Lim Kok Thay, has been removed from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). This comes as no surprise as it announced bankruptcy filing 15 months ago and its grand plans for casino cruises have come to an end.
Despite its majority ownership by one of the wealthiest people in Malaysia, the company was unable to withstand the financial strain caused by COVID-19. With plans to launch multiple ships, its progress was halted due to the pandemic and this resulted in major money issues.
Last year, when one of their ships – Crystal Symphony – changed its route from Miami, Fla. to the Bahamas, the gravity of the situation really became evident. Apparently, they had received word that US Marshals were ready to confiscate it once it reached port.
As a result of financial difficulties, Genting HK started reducing expenditures and selling off ships for incredibly low prices. Unfortunately, this didn’t help the company remain profitable and it eventually failed.
Lim is an affluent individual but he refused to attempt to rejuvenate the business. Genting HK ultimately decided to divest its property and petitioned for insolvency after amassing an enormous debt of $2.8 billion that was beyond rescue.
Genting HK has been delisted from HKSE as of Tuesday after liquidators stepped in and completed the sales. The company resigned to its fate and accepted that there was no chance for recovery. When it left, its stock was worth $448.6 million on the exchange.
Genting HK stemmed from the foundation that Lim created with Star Cruises. It swiftly developed to include Crystal Cruises and later, Dream Cruises, as it progressively expanded its business operations.
In 2015, the firm took a bold decision to start constructing its own ships and acquired shipyards in Germany. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, they initiated work on multiple vessels but it severely compromised their operations.
Despite frantic attempts to secure loans and take advantage of insurance claims, Genting HK was unsuccessful in its endeavours and bills kept accumulating. This financial strain even reached a point where it couldn’t pay for its fuel bills and led to one supplier filing a claim worth $4 million, which ultimately ended in the attempted seizure.