The travel agency HIS will sell shares in the seaside resort “Huis Ten Bosch”
Japan’s leading travel agency HIS Co. is aiming to sell its shares in the Dutch-themed “Huis Ten Bosch” resort in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, sources close to the government said on Thursday. case.
The Tokyo-based company is seeing its profits deteriorate due to a prolonged decline in overseas travel due to the coronavirus pandemic and accumulated losses at a subsidiary in the electricity retail business.
Photo taken in February 2022 shows an aerial view of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, inspired by a Dutch town, in Sasebo, Nagasaki prefecture. (Kyodo)
HIS owns two-thirds of the shares of resort operator Huis Ten Bosch Co. and is expected to sell them for “tens of billions of yen” to companies such as an investment firm in Hong Kong, the sources said. . The park itself will remain operational under new ownership.
Other Huis Ten Bosch shareholders, including regional companies Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Railway Co., also plan to sell their shares at the same time, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the Nagasaki Prefectural government plans to turn the area into a so-called integrated resort, which would include a casino.
“We are considering various plans such as the transfer of shares to improve the value of the company and shares of Huis Ten Bosch, but no specific decision has been made at this time,” the travel agency said in a statement. a statement.
HIS reported losses of 29.6 billion yen ($194 million) for the half-year period through April due to the pandemic, such as weak demand for overseas travel. It was the biggest loss ever for the company, whose services include flight bookings and package tours, for the period.
In response, the company decided to focus on promising businesses while cutting others. For example, it sold its electricity distribution subsidiary HTB Energy Co.
On the other hand, Huis Ten Bosch posted an operating profit of 300 million yen in the six months to March, compared with an operating loss of 200 million yen in the same period last year.
HIS’ decision to sell the theme park follows earnings results, including the park operator’s return to black in three years on a semi-annual basis, primarily due to a recovery in visitor numbers.