MANILA, Philippines–The Manila Jockey Club group has taken in a consortium of Hong Kong-based investors as a strategic partner in its hotel and tourism estate unit MJC Investments Corp. (MIC) to beef up new capital needed to develop an entertainment hub at its former San Lazaro racetrack in Santa Cruz, Manila.
The new investor group will get 33 percent of MIC for P450 million. This means that the new group will buy 450 million new shares of MIC for P1 each, infusing fresh capital to the company.
In a press statement, the MJC group described the Hong Kong investor consortium as having a diverse portfolio of global investments and is led by Cheah Teik Sing, managing director of ECM Libra Financial Group Berhad, a listed boutique financial services group based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sing previously served as the managing director of BNP Paribas, Hong Kong, and has over 20 years of international investment banking experience. He also serves as an independent non-executive director of Malayan Banking Berhad.
The transaction is seen providing MIC with fresh funds to construct its first project, a five-star hotel, tourism and entertainment hub located on a 7,500 square meter site at the San Lazaro Tourism and Business Park, which is already home to a high-end residential condominium project jointly developed by Ayala Land Inc. and MJC, as well as the SM San Lazaro mall.
“We are gratified with the vote of confidence in MIC’s business and future potential demonstrated by this substantial investment by an international investment group,” said Alfonso Reyno Jr., chair and chief executive officer of MJC Investments Corp.
“The Hong Kong consortium brings a unique level of world-class, global experience and expertise to MIC’s business and further empowers our ambitionto emerge as significant player in the Philippines’ rapidly growing tourism industry. We look forward to making more concrete progress and delivering on our commitments for the benefit of all our shareholders and stakeholders,” he said.
The hotel project intends to offer 160 suites, a columnless ballroom that can accommodate over a thousand persons and more than 5,000 square meters of themed event space and over a thousand parking slots. The company is grooming this area to attract East Asian tourists and local visitors who have long clamored for world-class accommodations, entertainment and recreational facilities in the high density greater Chinatown area.
Piling works are already ongoing at the site and full operation of the facility is anticipated within 24 months, the company said.