PH Resorts gets go-signal for offering to fund casinos

PH Resorts, the Philippine-listed firm owned by businessman Dennis Uy, has received approval from the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to hold a follow-on offering intended to fund several projects.

Local media outlets reported that the PHP18.48-billion ($350.46-million) follow-on offering for stock in PH Resorts, formerly known as Philippine H2O Ventures Corp., would involve selling 1.786 billion common shares at PHP9 ($0.17) apiece, with an option for an additional 267.94 million shares, or up to a total of 2.054 billion shares.

PH Resorts gets go-signal for offering to fund casinosThe company has acquired the services of CLSA Ltd. and UBS as international underwriters, with China Banking Corp. serving as the domestic lead underwriter for the offering.

The follow-on offering is set to be conducted within the first quarter of the year. It will be used to fund the development of the Emerald Resort and Casino in Mactan Island in Cebu province, an integrated resort in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, and the expansion of the Donatela Hotel in Panglao, Bohol in Central Visayas.

The Emerald will be constructed over a 13.5-hectare property, with a gaming floor area of 7,585 square meters initially, to be increased to 9,400 square meters during a second phase. A 1,300-room five-star hotel will also be built in the area.

The Donatela is intended to complement the Emerald,  just 50 miles away, as a family-oriented option.

The four-hectare Clark Resort will contain a 7,500 square meter casino, as well as a mall and convention center.

The company’s name change to PH Resorts was approved by the SEC only last month, reflecting its change in line of business, from that of a water utility company.

Uy is a friend of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has taken a stance against gambling, hindering the issuance of new casino licenses.

Last August, Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development Limited’s lease contract for a casino resort in Metro Manila was canceled for being unfavorable to the Philippine government.

Galaxy Entertainment Group’s license for a $500-million casino resort in Boracay Island, obtained last March, may not be honored either, as Duterte has called for no gambling in the recently rehabilitated island.