Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corp, operator of the City of Dreams Manila casino resort (pictured) in the Philippine capital, has issued a public statement pledging its commitment to that country’s casino market, following official queries by the stock exchange there concerning a planned delisting of its shares.
“MCO reiterates that the conduct of the tender offer or the potential delisting of Melco Resorts Philippines from the Philippine Stock Exchange, if approved, do not otherwise affect Melco Resorts Philippines’ continued operations in the Philippines or its commitment to the Philippine market,” stated the document. It was referring first to MCO Philippines Investments Ltd, already the controlling shareholder in Melco Resorts Philippines.
It had been announced in September that MCO Philippines Investments intended to conduct a tender offer for just under 1.57 billion shares held by the public – representing approximately 27.23 percent of the outstanding capital stock of Melco Resorts Philippines – at a tender offer price of PHP7.25 per share. The aggregate cost would be nearly PHP11.19 billion if fully executed. Both firms are part of the Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd group.
Melco Resorts Philippines’ latest filing on the delisting topic also addressed publicly queries raised formally by the local bourse. A local media report had previously cited unidentified analysts querying the fairness of the offer price.
Melco Resorts Philippines had already issued a filing saying its majority shareholder’s tender offer fell within a fair value range independently determined by a consulting firm.
On October 2, a further filing said the tender exercise – due to have started on October 3 – was to be delayed for “approximately two weeks”.
Melco Resorts Philippines’ latest announcement on the topic carried Thursday’s date and was filed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday.
It said, referring to the majority shareholder: “MCO submits that while shareholders and investors of Melco Resorts Philippines are entitled to express their views on what constitutes a ‘fair price’ under the tender offer, the other minority shareholders of Melco Resorts Philippines are equally entitled to decide for themselves, and if thought fit, to tender their Melco Resorts Philippines shares in the tender offer that is and will be conducted in accordance with the relevant Philippine rules and regulations.”
It also noted that the ultimate deciding factor on the matter was approval by the bourse, although Melco Resorts Philippines had pledged to go ahead with the delisting, even if MCO failed to obtain at least 95 percent of the outstanding capital stock via the tender offer.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China