PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc – a listed vehicle used by Philippine entrepreneur Dennis Uy’s privately-held Udenna Corp for the purposes of raising money for investing in new-build Philippine casino projects – has confirmed to the country’s main bourse that it has had approval from regulators for a follow-on offer for its stock worth nearly PHP18.5 billion (US$352.5 million)
The Manila Standard newspaper had reported on Friday that the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had on Thursday approved the follow-on offering.
Documents previously filed by the listed entity had indicated PH Resorts planned to sell up to 1.78 billion shares, plus – depending on demand – an oversubscription of as many as 267.94 million shares at PHP9.00 per unit; whereby the latter exercise which would have realised a gross amount of PHP24.1 billion.
PH Resorts was previously known as Philippine H2O Ventures Corp. Udenna had its proposal to use Philippine H2O Ventures as a listed vehicle for tourism investment approved by the country’s SEC in December.
Under the name Philippine H2O Ventures, the entity had said in filings last year, that it planned to invest in an “integrated resort” – understood to be a reference to a casino resort, referred to in the latest reports by the name “The Emerald” – on Mactan island, in the central Philippine province of Cebu; and in a second casino resort scheme. That was locally reported as being at Clark Global City in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. The projected completion date of the latter scheme was said to be 2022.
PH Resorts confirmed in its Friday filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it intended to conduct the share sale exercise within the first quarter of this year.
The entity also confirmed reports that brokerage CLSA Ltd and banking group UBS would be the international underwriters on the offering, and that China Banking Corp would be the domestic lead underwriter of the offering.
In February last year it was reported that the country’s gaming regulator the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) had instituted a ban on new casino projects – with effect from January that year – because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s concerns about “proliferation” of gambling services operating out of that country. Pagcor clarified that it would only consider applications for casino licences submitted before the President’s order came into effect.
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”We expect it [the first phase of casino resort Hoiana in Vietnam] to open in October, and by then basically 90 percent of the first-phase content will be launched – such as the golf course, and hotels”
Andrew Lo Kai Bong
Executive director of project investor Suncity Group