Japan’s Universal Entertainment in talks to buy Dennis Uy’s stalled casino
MANILA -Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy has found a new white knight for his troubled casino company, PH Resorts Group (PHR).
Japan’s Universal Entertainment, operator of the Okada Manila integrated casino along Manila Bay, signed a “preliminary agreement” to acquire a majority stake in stalled Emerald Bay Resort project in Cebu from PH Resorts.
This will be done through its Philippine unit, Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI).
A final deal has yet to be reached, however, the parties are expecting to sign definitive agreements by July 2024. The casino is scheduled for completion and opening by 2026.
“TRLEI and PHR have signed a term sheet under which TRLEI, subject to various conditions, will acquire a majority stake in the Emerald Bay project and complete the partially developed Emerald Bay Resort,” Universal Entertainment said in an overseas regulatory filing.
“The project is currently planned to be an iconic and luxurious five-star integrated resort in Cebu and the premier entertainment destination in the Philippines outside of Entertainment City in Metro Manila,” it added.
The Emerald Bay project will have a five-star hotel adjacent to 300 meters of beachfront, with two 15-story towers accommodating 642 rooms, four pools, 18 food and beverage outlets, retail spaces, conference and exhibition facilities. The casino will have a “large-scale gaming floor” with over 700 electric gaming machines and over 140 tables.
PH Resorts said last week it was in talks with other investors after negotiations with tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. and Cebu-based AppleOne Properties fell through.
Last October, the company sealed a debt restructuring deal with Sy-led China Banking Corp. This involve the sale and subsequent leaseback of the 12.5-hectare Emerald Bay property. PH Resorts said it retains an option to repurchase the land from China Bank.