Davao’s Dennis Uy bullish on Cebu casino amid talks with Okada Group
MANILA -Davao-based tycoon Dennis Uy’s PH Resorts Group is bullish on its unfinished casino project in Cebu ahead of the potential entry of Japan’s Universal Group, which operates Okada Manila.
Last week, Universal said in an overseas filing its Philippine unit Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) struck a “preliminary agreement” to acquire a majority stake in PH Resorts’ $300-million Emerald Bay casino project in Mactan, Cebu.
“In PH Resorts’ partnership with Okada Manila, we hope to turn Emerald Bay Resort into a symbol for, and a catalyst of, the development of Cebu as the center of the Visayan tourism market in the Philippines,” Uy, the chair of PH Resorts, said in a statement on Monday.
PH Resorts president and CEO Raymundo Martin Escalona also welcome the signing of the preliminary agreement.
“There are very strong and broad synergies that have been identified which will result in a very mutually beneficial relationship,” he said.
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.
PH Resorts shares plunged 12.73 percent to P0.96 by the closing bell on Monday.
The company said the project on Mactan will be an integrated resort with a five-star hotel adjacent to 300 meters of beachfront, with two 15-storey towers accommodating 642 rooms, four pools, 18 food and beverage outlets, retail spaces, conference and exhibition facilities, and a large-scale gaming floor with more than 700 electronic gaming machines and over 140 tables.
“This new venture is aligned with our strategy to increase our footprint in the Philippines, given our remarkable success with Okada Manila,” Byron Yip, president and chief operating officer of TRLEI,” said in the same statement.
“We are excited to bring our signature level of hospitality and service excellence to a new and discerning market,” he added.
During the first nine months of 2023, PH Resorts saw losses surge 300 percent to P2.2 billion on revenues of P19.4 billion amid rising debts, PH Resorts said in its latest financial report.
Interest payments swelled 2,300 percent to P2.1 billion as the company needed the period with current liabilities of P10.7 billion versus current assets of P43 million.