The board and shareholders of PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc have agreed a merger between that firm and its wholly-owned subsidiary PH Travel and Leisure Holdings Corp. The latter entity fully controls several planned Philippine resorts in regional holiday destinations. According to company statements at least two planned resorts will offer casino gaming.
The decision for merger was made on May 23 but only confirmed in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange that carried Wednesday’s date.
The exercise is “subject to obtaining the relevant regulatory approvals,” including that of the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, said the parent.
The merger would “achieve greater efficiency and economy in the management and operations of both companies and for the advantage of their stockholders,” added the filing.
PH Travel – which according to the filing will become “redundant” once the merger is completed – is the holding company for the gaming and hospitality arm of Philippine businessman Dennis Uy’s privately-held Udenna group. The PH Travel portfolio includes LapuLapu Leisure Inc; Clark Grand Leisure Corp; and Donatela Hotel Panglao Corp.
Last week it was reported that PH Resorts might within the next three months borrow money and issue equity toward the estimated US$600-million cost of a new a casino resort on the island of Mactan, near the central Philippine city of Cebu.
PH Resorts president Raymundo Martin Escalona was cited as saying as much as 70 percent of the project costs – US$420 million – might come from borrowings.
The company had hoped to raise US$342 million for the project through a follow-on offering of up to 2.05 billion common shares at PHP9 (US$0.17) a share, but in March announced a delay to such a move.
“We will still do a follow-on. I don’t know when, but we will,” Mr Escalona was quoted as saying last week. “We have the option until end of 2020, depending on the market situation.”
The Mactan scheme is being referred to by its promoters as ‘The Emerald’. It will be near the international airport that serves Cebu.
The first phase of the resort is due to have 400 hotel rooms, and a casino containing 100 gaming tables and 600 electronic gaming machines.
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”I do not believe that this event [the collapse of a under-construction building in Sihanoukville] will slow down the issuance of [gaming] licences. Market forces will probably dictate the process as developers evaluate projected future demand for gaming in the region”
Senior partner at business consultancy Global Market Advisors