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Okada firm buys backdoor listing vehicle

/ 05:32 AM September 12, 2018

Okada Manila developer and owner Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. has signed a deal to buy two-thirds of listed holding firm Asiabest Group International Inc. (ABG)—obtaining a backdoor-listing ticket to the local stock market—for P646.5 million.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday, ABG said a group of its shareholders agreed to sell 200 million of the holding firm’s shares to Tiger Resort Asia. This translates to a price per share of P3.23 or much lower than the market price.

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The Inquirer wrote about the backdoor-listing transaction through ABG on Monday.

After ABG confirmed the backlisting report, the PSE implemented a trading suspension on ABG shares starting 9 a.m. on Tuesday, pending the submission of a comprehensive disclosure.

Prior to the trading suspension, ABG, which is led by the Angping group, had a market capitalization of P12.3 billion.

The buyer of ABG shares, Tiger Resort Asia, is a Hong Kong corporation and is the majority shareholder of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. doing business under the name and style of Okada Manila.

The sale is targeted to be effected by way of a special block sale through the PSE on Nov. 12 or at a date mutually agreed upon by the parties, based on the disclosure.

“Soon after this agreement, Tiger shall conduct a tender offer to be completed prior to closing date,” the disclosure said.

Tiger Resort’s backdoor listing through ABG will give it access to the capital market and 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 along Manila Bay.

Its entry into the stock market also adds a new integrated casino gaming play in the local market. Among other integrated gaming developers 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 (planning to be delisted) and Belle Corp./Premium Leisure Corp.

The ultimate parent company of Tiger Resort is Japan-based Universal Entertainment Corp., which is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of gaming machines.

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The 44-hectare Okada Manila, which opened in 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 slot machines and 500 gaming tables.

In 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved ABG’s application for a quasi-organization and equity restructuring that substantially wiped out its deficits and allowed the company to raise additional capital needed for investments.

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TAGS: Asiabest Group International Inc. (ABG), local stock market, Okada Manila developer, Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Tiger Resort Asia Ltd.
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