Mitsui & Co. and Nippon Shinpan Co. have agreed to invest $350 million in three resorts owned by Qintex Australia Ltd.--one in Hawaii and two in Australia--establishing a relationship that could extend into Southern California or other areas of the Pacific basin, Qintex said Friday.
Each firm will invest $175 million, and each will get 24.5% of the equity in the three existing Mirage resorts. Qintex, based in Brisbane, Australia, retains 51% ownership of the resorts.
Under the agreement, the two firms will also have the option of investing similar amounts in two future Mirage resorts--one in Southern California and another Mirage project in Florida. Qintex, which will be searching for investment partners for the projects, said the Japanese companies will get equity in the two new resorts if they match any other investment offer.
Qintex, an Australian conglomerate that owns 43% of Qintex Entertainment, a television production company with offices in Beverly Hills, has been searching for a Southern California site for a Mirage resort. It plans to open a resort in California in one to three years.
Qintex hopes to enlarge its presence in tourism by working with Nippon Shinpan, which also has credit card operations, and Mitsui, which is involved in real estate and construction, according to Christopher Skase, chairman of Qintex Australia.
“The agreement . . . is consistent with Qintex’s philosophy of strengthening long-term commercial links around the Pacific Rim,” he said. “The linking of California, Hawaii, Queensland (Australia) and Japan will form a quadrant of strength in the burgeoning tourist market in the Pacific, the fastest-growing tourist market in the world.”