Tiger Resort working on deal to take over listed Angping firm
Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc., owner and operator of integrated gaming resort Okada Manila, is hatching a deal to take over investment holding firm Asiabest Group International (ABG) for its backdoor entry into the local stock market.
Shares of ABG, which is led by the Angping group, surged by 17.96 percent last Friday— making it the biggest gainer in the market despite a regional equities downturn—in anticipation of a prospective deal closing soon.
Industry sources familiar with the transaction said no deal had been finalized, but negotiations had reached an advanced stage and could be wrapped up soon now that the “ghost” month is over.
One source confirmed to the Inquirer that proponents of the backdoor-listing exercise, which had been in the works for some time, were “rushing” the transaction.
Another source from the stock market said the parties were preparing for a tender offer.
A prospective backdoor listing by Tiger Resort will give it access to the capital market, allowing it to raise fresh capital to reduce debt incurred from the development of Okada Manila, the newest integrated resort that opened at the Pagcor Entertainment City gaming strip.
Tiger Resort’s prospective listing also adds a new integrated casino gaming play in the local market.
Among other players that are already listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange are Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which owns and operates Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila owner and operator Travellers International Hotel Group as well as City of Dreams Manila’s principal investors Melco Resorts and Entertainment and Belle Corp./Premium Leisure Corp.
For its part, Tiger Resort had looked at other listed companies for prospective backdoor-listing, but an intra-corporate squabble delayed any potential deal.
In June last year, Kazuo Okada was removed as chair of Tiger Resorts and replaced by lawyer Manuel Lazaro.
Tiger Resort is a unit of Japan-based Universal Entertainment Corp., which is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of gaming machines.
Okada Manila, which opened at end-2016, features a Dome nightclub, an exclusive beach club as well as a dancing water display and light show.
Based on its website, it has 3,000 slots and 500 gaming tables.
In 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved ABG’s application for quasi-organization and equity re-structuring thereby substantially wiping out its deficits and allowing the company to raise additional capital needed for investments. It also streamlined its operations and sold its stake in subsidiaries Alta Minera Inc., Breccia Resources Inc. and Millionaires Resources and Properties Inc.
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