Macau's biggest casino company, by revenue, is going through a major transition, as control of SJM has been transferred to the heirs of Stanley Ho. The motley crew of children and ex-wives probably won't ever gain Ho's status in Macau, but the new ownership structure leaves the company in an interesting position as Macau gaming revenues grow.
A figurehead passes on power
The crew of family members is a departure from traditional casino leadership in Macau, generally populated with larger-than-life figures. Stanley Ho had a monopoly over Macau's casino business for more than 40 years, before the brash Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands
A few years later, the biggest name in Las Vegas, Steve Wynn, brought his flagship Wynn Resorts
There are now two ex-wives and five children with major stakes in SJM, leaving this Fool to think that conflict is just around the corner. We may already be seeing some infighting; Stanley Ho threatens to take legal action if a current dispute between heirs isn't resolved quickly.
The family members now controlling SJM come from three separate marriages, confusing matters for even the best family dynamic. Children Pansy Ho and Lawrence Ho, who control major portions of MGM Resorts'
We do know that Pansy Ho and Lawrence Ho can't ever take control of SJM, because of their separate gaming licenses, but the position of both is worth watching. A few weeks ago, I figured Melco Crown would become a significant buyer if family fighting forced SJM to appease unhappy family members through asset sales.
No matter who's running SJM, the division of power should be a boost for competitors, as SJM takes a further back seat to the Cotai Strip and U.S.-traded companies. The vision of one person is easy to execute, but carrying out the vision of many is nearly impossible.
Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.