THE operator of Okada Manila has agreed to complete the partially developed Emerald Bay Resort and Casino in Mactan, Cebu.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. said Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) executed a “preliminary agreement” with PH Resorts’ operating subsidiaries—Lapulapu Leisure Inc. and Lapulapu Land Corp.—to acquire majority ownership of the Emerald Bay project, allowing them to take over the development of the long overdue Emerald Bay Resort.
TRLEI is the operator of the Okada Manila integrated casino, hotel and entertainment complex located in Entertainment City, Metro Manila.
A final deal has yet to be reached, but the parties are expected to execute definitive agreements by July 2024, subject to conditions including approval from the relevant governmental authorities, if any.
PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. is the gaming and tourism holding company of the Udenna Group owned by Davao-based Dennis Uy.
“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,” said Uy, PH Resorts chairman.
“This new venture is aligned with our strategy to increase our footprint in the Philippines, given our remarkable success with Okada Manila,” said Byron Yip, president and chief operating officer of TRLEI. “We are excited to bring our signature level of hospitality and service excellence to a new and discerning market,” he added.
The project on Mactan Island is currently planned to be an integrated resort with 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, and a large-scale gaming floor with more than 700 electronic gaming machines and over 140 tables.
“We are very excited about the prospects that our partnership with TRLEI will bring. There are very strong and broad synergies that have been identified which will result in a very mutually beneficial relationship,” said PH Resorts president and chief executive officer Raymundo Martin Escalona.
On Oct. 3, PH Resorts Group announced that it entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cebu-based AppleOne Properties Inc. for the development of the casino resort project.
However, on Dec. 4, Uy’s listed company disclosed that their negotiations did not prosper and that its subsidiaries and AppleOne Properties Inc. had not entered into a definitive agreement.
“Considering that the MOU was a non-exclusive engagement, PHR is having substantive discussions with other parties,” the company said.
Before Okada Manila and AppleOne, PH Resorts was also in talks with other investors including tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., but their collaboration did not materialize after Razon pulled out of the deal to invest in the Cebu project.