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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Dennis Uy investing $1 billion in 2 resort-casino projects

PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc., the leisure and gaming unit of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, plans to spend $1 billion or more than P52 billion to fund the construction of two casino projects.

PH Resorts said in a registration statement it filed related to its planned P18.48-billion share sale it budgeted $665 million for the completion of The Emerald, an integrated resort and casino on a 13.5-hectare site in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, Cebu.

The construction of The Emerald began in December 2017 and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020. 

The first phase is expected to have 7,585 square meters of aggregate gaming floor area, with 1,186 electronic gaming machines, 146 gaming tables, a five-star hotel with 838 rooms including five villas, a retail complex covering 8,000 square meters, a convention center and 18 restaurants. 

The second phase is expected to have around 9,400 square meters of aggregate gaming floor area, a five-star hotel with 1,300 rooms and F&B and retail areas covering 5,700 square meters and 7,600 square meters, respectively.

PH Resorts is also spending $276.6 million for the development of Clark Resort, an integrated gaming and tourism resort in Clark Freeport Zone. The Construction of Clark Resort is expected to start in the first quarter this year and to be completed by 2022. 

Clark Resort, once completed, would have around 600 electronic gaming machines, 100 gaming tables, several hotels with 400 rooms and a retail and restaurant complex.

The company also budgeted $40.9 million for the acquisition of Donatela Hotel in Bohol and expansion of the hotel’s current operations.

PH Resorts said the casino projects and hotel expansion would be partially funded by the proceeds from the planned share sale next month.

The company plans to sell P18.48 billion worth of shares in March or April, a top executive of Udenna Corp., the parent company of PH Resorts, said earlier.  

Udenna vice president for finance Ignacia Braga IV said the company was hoping to proceed with the planned share sale in March or April, once the company received approval from the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The PSE will hold a board meeting on Feb. 13 where the application for the planned share sale of PH Resorts could be taken up.

PH Resorts obtained the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission in January to raise roughly P18.48 billion from the sale of up to 1.78 billion common shares, with an oversubscription option for another 267.94 million shares at P9 apiece.

The company tapped CLSA Ltd. and UBS as the international underwriters and China Banking Corp. as the domestic lead underwriter for the offering.

PH Resorts will have a public float of 30 percent, once it successfully sold the shares and exercised the over-allotment option.

The company said it also planned to borrow P36.14 billion. PH Resorts said it secured $103 million in committed loan facilities and is in the advanced stages of negotiating two additional loans worth $455 million and $175 million.  A part of the proceeds will be used to refinance the company’s existing committed loan facilities. 

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