Suncity Group Holdings Ltd., Asia’s largest junket operator, said it obtained shareholders’ approval to invest in the Philippine casino market.
Suncity said in a disclosure to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Thursday it received a written approval to pay an initial $200 million as provided under a co-development and lease agreement with Westside City Resorts World Inc. and Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., two companies owned by billionaire Andrew Tan.
The payment will be done through Suntrust Home Developers Inc., which is 51-percent owned by Fortune Noble Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suncity Group.
The shareholders also approved Suntrust’s lease agreement with Westside and Travellers as lessor of the parcels of land in Parañaque.
The approval from Suncity Group stockholders was one of the conditions required to complete the co-development agreement and the lease agreement with Westside City and Travellers International.
The co-development agreement provides, among others, for the execution of the lease agreement on the project site to develop a 5-star hotel and casino establishment and the use of the project site and reimbursement of the costs incurred on the land.
The lease agreement, meanwhile, will allow Suntrust the right to use the land where the main hotel casino will be built and operated.
The lease covers an original term until August 19, 2039, renewable automatically, subject to applicable laws, for another 25 years.
Annual rental will be in the amount of US$10,600,000, exclusive of the applicable value-added tax, and payable in two instalments or on a semi-annual basis.
The Westside City Resorts project will rise on Entertainment City, a 120-hectare parcel of reclaimed land in Metro Manila. Entertainment City is envisioned to be Asia’s version of the Las Vegas gaming strip.
Suncity in October last year acquired a 51-percent stake in Suntrust.
Suntrust earlier said it would operate the casino and a hotel with at least 400 rooms, around 400 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines for both mass market and high rollers.
Share price of Suntrust on Thursday rose 7.3 percent to P1.18.