PH RESORTS Group Holdings Inc., the gaming and tourism holding company of the Udenna Group, is in talks with Cebu-based property developer AppleOne Properties Inc. (AppleOne) for possible investment in its casino venture in Mactan, Cebu.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, PH Resorts, owned by Davao-based Dennis Uy, said its subsidiaries Lapulapu Leisure Inc. and Lapulapu Land Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with AppleOne.
Under the MOU, AppleOne can make an investment in PH Resorts’ subsidiaries, with the intention of obtaining at least a majority of the equity interest or an asset purchase of the land and improvement of the Emerald Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in Mactan, Cebu.
“The consideration for the investment and resulting percentage of ownership are still subject to final negotiations by the parties, which are expected to be completed within 60 days,” the listed firm said.
In June this year, PH Resorts announced it is in talks with one foreign and one local investor to complete and open its flagship Emerald Bay project in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu in the near future.
“PH Resorts is also presently engaged in the final stages of negotiations with one foreign and one local investor to help it fulfill its commitment to complete and open its flagship Emerald Bay integrated resort at the soonest possible time,” the company said.
Emerald Bay is a US$300 million project envisioned to be the premier integrated resort in the Visayas-Mindanao region.
To be developed by Lapulapu Leisure Inc., the 13.5-hectare Emerald Bay Resort Hotel and Casino is located in Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City.
The first phase of Emerald is expected to have approximately 7,585 square meters of aggregate gaming floor area, with approximately 1,186 electronic gaming machines, approximately 146 gaming tables, a five-star hotel, with approximately 838 rooms, including five villas, a retail complex covering an approximate area of 8,000 square meters, a convention center, and 18 restaurants.
In October 2021, Uy delayed the opening of its first hotel casino project in Mactan, Cebu to the first quarter of 2023 due to mobility restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The resort and casino project as of end-September 2021 was 40.7 percent complete, while the main building was 98.6 percent finished.
Moreover, PH Resorts disclosed that the subsidiaries were also able to successfully restructure their existing outstanding indebtedness with China Banking Corp. through the execution of agreements for the sale, leaseback, with option to buyback certain land and improvements of the subsidiaries.
This restructuring covers the property of the subsidiaries in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan, Cebu, with an area of approximately 12.5 hectares, plus improvements.
The restructuring also allows the subsidiaries to repay the Peso Bridge Loan Facility extended by Chinabank in 2018, while, at the same time, grants them continued possession and use over the property in order to finish the construction and development of the Emerald Bay Project.
In addition, the option to buyback of the restructuring allows the subsidiaries or its nominees to reacquire the properties, if so desired, the firm said.