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Dennis A. Uy finds potential buyer for Mactan casino

Davao tycoon Dennis A. Uy has found a potential buyer or majority investor in Cebu-based real estate developer AppleOne Properties Inc. for his integrated casino resort project in Mactan as he continues to sell-off assets to pay for debt and costly expansion of his telecom business.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Uy’s PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. said its subsidiaries Lapulapu Leisure Inc. and Lapulapu Land Corporation have signed a non-exclusive and non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with AppleOne. 

“The MoU establishes broad parameters whereby AppleOne can make an investment in the Subsidiaries, with the intention of obtaining at least a majority of the equity interest in the Subsidiaries, or an asset purchase of the land and improvements of the Emerald Bay Project,” PH Resorts said. 

It added that, “the consideration for the investment and resulting percentage of ownership are still subject to final negotiations by the Parties, which are expected to be completed within 60 days, based on the MoU.”

If successful, the sale of the Mactan casino project will be the third major asset disposal by Uy following the sale of his interest in 2Go Group to the SM Group and his stake in Malampaya to billionaire Enrique K. Razon Jr. Razon had also planned to acquire Uy’s gaming and real estate assets but backed out of the deal.

AppleOne is a homegrown developer that founded by enterprising couple Ray and Venus Manigsaca that has seen unprecedented growth over the last 12 years. Its projects include residential condominiums, hotels and resorts, commercial buildings, flexible workspaces, and healthcare facilities.

Meanwhile, PH Resorts said the subsidiaries were also able to successfully restructure their existing outstanding indebtedness with China Banking Corporation, through the execution of agreements for the sale, leaseback, with option to buyback certain land and improvements of the subsidiaries. 

This restructuring covers the property of the subsidiaries in Lapulapu City, Mactan, Cebu, with an area of approximately 12.5 hectares, plus improvements.

The restructuring also allows the subsidiaries to repay the Peso Bridge Loan Facility extended by Chinabank in 2018, while, at the same time, grants them continued possession and use over the property in order to finish the construction and development of the Emerald Bay Project. 

“In addition, the option to buyback of the Restructuring allows the Subsidiaries or its nominees to reacquire the properties, if so desired,” the firm said.

PH Resorts earlier said it was negotiating with a foreign and a local investor to help fund its resort and casino project in Cebu.

During the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting, PH Resorts President and CEO Raymundo Martin M. Escalona said they were engaged in the final stages of negotiations with the two prospective investors.

These investors will hopefully agree to help the company fulfill its commitment to complete and open its flagship Emerald Bay integrated resort at the soonest possible time.

Located in Mactan, Cebu, Emerald Bay is envisaged to be the premier integrated resort in the Visayas-Mindanao region. It will have a total of 146 gaming tables and 729 electronic gaming machines (EGMs) as well as 780 hotel room bays and 5 villas.

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The article was originally published in Manila Bulletin and written by James A. Loyola.

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