Canadian investment group Clairvest Neem Ventures, which was chosen by Wakayama Prefecture as its preferred partner to develop one of Japan’s first integrated resorts, has confirmed the suspension of activities related to IR area development certification.
However, the company said it will continue to explore IR development opportunities in Japan in the future, suggesting it would try again should the central government explore a second round of IR development in the coming years.
As reported by IAG, it had been expected that Wakayama would refrain from submitting an IR bid after the prefectural assembly last week voted against the prefecture’s area development plan – primarily due to a lack of transparency around funding.
In confirming its withdrawal from the national bidding process, which saw Osaka and Nagasaki submit their bids this week, Clairvest said it had compiled an area development plan that “was not inferior to any part of the world.”
It also refuted suggestions that the financial plan put together by the IR consortium – which also included Caesars Entertainment and multiple local minority investors – was unclear.
“We had signed a basic agreement for investment with [16 companies in total] including domestic companies and two domestic financial institutions,” Clairvest said.
“By concluding a basic agreement on financing with [10 companies in total], the planned amount of financing is more than JPY 550 billion (US$4.2 billion).”
Clairvest said it had obtained official documentation in partnership with global investment bank Credit Suisse including a detailed breakdown of the overall funding plan but had opted to keep these details confidential pending government approval.
“From the above, we were convinced that the certainty of financing for the realization of Wakayama IR was 100%, but maybe because of our lack of explanation we were unable to achieve the understanding [of the prefectural assembly].”
Clairvest said it would temporarily close its Wakayama office but would maintain its office in Tokyo to “continue to seek development opportunities in Japan.
“Even today, when this decision has been made, the [potential] of various social and human resources in Wakayama is the greatest attraction of this city, and its utilization will contribute to the development of the Japanese economy,” Clairvest said. “We [remain] confident.”