Macau casino group eyes raising $400M in Ph stock marketBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. (MCP), the backdoor-listing vehicle for the local gaming operations of Macau’s Melco gaming group, plans to raise up to $400 million from a fresh equity offering.
The proceeds are expected to fund part of the Melco group’s investment in the second entertainment complex that will rise in Pagcor City along Manila Bay, the country’s future version of the Las Vegas and Macau gaming hubs.
Melco Crown has ventured into the Philippine gaming industry through a partnership with the SM group, which is building the $1-billion Belle Grande entertainment complex, the second gaming complex to rise in Pagcor City after the recently opened Solaire Manila of tycoon Enrique Razon. This group has committed to contribute at least $600 million to this local project.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, MCP said it planned to raise as much as $400 million from the sale of up to a billion common shares of the company with an option to upsize by up to 20 percent.
The fund-raising will be done through a top-up placement, whereby controlling stockholder MCE (Philippines) Investments Ltd. will lend up to 1.2 billion of its secondary common shares for a quick equity deal. It will afterwards subscribe to the same number and same price of new shares to be issued by the listed company.
UBS and Citigroup have been mandated by MCP to arrange this equity deal, industry sources said.
Subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission, MCP plans to increase its capital stock, out of which it will issue about 2.85 billion common shares to MCE Investments at P1 per share of a total subscription of P2.85 billion.
The company’s board also approved the purchase of 147.89 million common shares in MCE Holdings (Philippines) Corp. from MCE (Philippines) Investments for about P7.2 billion under an equity deal that was supposed to have been firmed up on Wednesday.
Trading on MCP’s shares were halted in the PSE on Thursday until 10 a.m. to allow the investing public to weigh this backdoor listing.