Macau casino giant buys backdoor listing vehicle for PH gamingBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–The Melco casino group of Macau has signed a deal to take over 93 percent of Manchester International Holdings Unlimited Corp. (MIH), thereby acquiring a publicly listed shell company for the prospective backdoor-listing of its Philippine gaming interest.
MIH disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday the signing by its controlling shareholders of a binding agreement to sell 93.06 percent of the company to the Melco group. This transaction excludes the investments of MIH in Interphil Laboratories Inc. and Lancaishaire Realty Holding Corp. which shall be spun off to holding firms.
The deal is seen transforming MIH into a gaming play and allowing Melco to tap the local capital markets in the future like what businessman Enrique Razon did when he acquired AAI Corp. which is now Bloomberry Resorts Corp.
The shares in MIH equivalent to 255.27 million class A (open only to local investors) shares and 128.21 million class B (open to all investors) common shares were bought by Melco through units MCE (Philippines) Investments Ltd. and MCE (Philippines) Investments No. 2 Corp.
The disclosure said the acquisition agreement stipulated that MCE “intends to manage and operate the Philippine businesses of MCE Group through the company.” The Philippine operations of the group may include its interest in the casino, hotel, retail and entertainment complex that will soon open in partnership with Belle Corp.