Travellers to spend $600M for Resorts World expansion

By: Doris C. Dumlao, July 19th, 2013 02:47 AM

Integrated gaming and entertainment firm Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. has changed its game plan and will now focus on expanding its Resorts World Manila with a fresh investment of $600 million before going full-blast with a second, and potentially larger, project at the Pagcor Entertainment City.

In a briefing Thursday, Travellers president Kingson Sian said proceeds from an initial public offering (IPO) planned by the company—a joint venture between Alliance Global Group Inc. and the Genting group of Malaysia—would be used to fund the second- and third-phase expansion of the Resorts World complex in the 12-hectare Newport City.

Travellers has already worked out its maiden offer, said to be worth as much as P42 billion. But the group is still waiting for the proper time to conduct the offering. The group has now set its IPO sights toward the end of the year, Sian said.

“If we don’t do the IPO, we can always go to the debt market,” Sian said, citing the company’s unused credit lines and cash flow.

Travellers was supposed to break ground for the first phase of Resorts World Bayshore City by the end of 2012 and complete the first phase of the new entertainment hub at an estimated cost of $550 million by 2016.

Sian said that the group has yet to schedule the groundbreaking for Bayshore.

He estimated that, at the earliest, phase 1 of the second entertainment hub could be completed by 2017 or 2018.

The change in Travellers’ plans had nothing to do with uncertainties over gaming taxation in the country, but with the realization that the group would be better off unlocking values from its mature project in Newport City, Sian said.

With five more airlines moving to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 3, from terminal 1, Sian said this would mean 18 million passengers for Newport City, Sian said.

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