They say money doesn’t buy happiness. I always thought it would make being miserable a whole lot more fun.
But when you’re close to meeting your maker and the love and respect of your family is perhaps the most important thing that you have left in life…well all the cash in the world doesn’t count for much does it?
This seems to be where Stanley Ho is right now.
He is embroiled in a bizarre on-again, off-again legal battle with family members over a stake in his private company Lanceford that has a 31.7% stake in Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM), which in turn controls 56% of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) – the company well and truly tapped into Macau’s casino market…tipped to hit $30 billion this year.
Ownership of Lanceford (worth $1.4 billion) was transferred to the children of his second and third wives in an asset division agreement that, according to Ho’s lawyers, included a promise to return the company under certain conditions. Now Stanley (and family members from other branches of the large family tree) wants the asset back.
Stanley was about to take family members to court last month before announcing that the dispute had been settled.
That was last month.
This month it’s off to a Hong Kong court in a lawsuit that names both Pansy and Daisy (daughters of his second wife) as defendants.
Next month, who knows?
The one certainty is that the casino industry will be watching with great interest as the most influential family in the biggest casino market in the world duke it out in public.