Suntrust Home Developers Inc, a Philippine entity investing in a casino hotel (pictured in an artist’s rendering) in Manila that is part of the Westside City Project, said in a Friday filing that it has agreed to sell its remaining stake in a real estate business, in order to focus on the new gaming venture.
Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd indirectly owns 51 percent of Suntrust. Suncity Group Holdings is controlled by Macau casino junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the head of Macau VIP brand Suncity.
In its filing, Suntrust said it has agreed to sell its 24.27-percent stake in First Oceanic Property Management Inc, for a total consideration of PHP153.7 million (US$3.2 million). First Oceanic is primarily engaged in the management of real estate properties in the Philippines, according to corporate information.
Suntrust said that given that the business of First Oceanic and its subsidiaries “is entirely unrelated to the casino and entertainment market of the Philippines,” the deal allows Suntrust “to dispose of its non-core business and focus and deploy its resources to its principal businesses.”
The group intends to apply the net sale proceeds from the disposal “as general working capital and to partially finance the construction” of the casino hotel being developed by Suntrust, said in a separate filing Suncity Group Holdings.
The buyer is Asian E-Commerce Inc, which already controls the other 75.73 percent of First Oceanic. Asian E-Commerce is 50-percent owned by Megaworld Corp, a Philippine-listed company that currently holds a 34-percent interest in Suntrust.
Suntrust changed in June last year its primary purpose from real estate development to “tourism-related businesses,” including but not limited to developing and operating hotels, resorts, entertainment centres and other recreational facilities.
The total “construction and development” cost for the casino hotel will be approximately US$1 billion, said in February Suncity Group Holdings. The project is scheduled to “commence operation” in 2023, it added.
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