PH Resorts teases new investors for delayed Cebu casino project

MANILA  -Davao-based tycoon Dennis Uy’s PH Resorts Group Holdings announced it is in advanced talks with foreign and local investors to help bankroll the completion of the $300-million Emerald Bay project in Cebu after billionaire Enrique Razon Jr. withdrew from a potential deal.

“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 in a statement after its annual stockholders’ meeting on July 26.

Shares of the company surged nearly 15.7 percent to P0.59 each on Thursday’s close.

The Emerald Bay project is set to rise on a 12.4-hectare beachfront property in Mactan, Cebu. It will have 780 hotel rooms and villas while the casino will have 146 gaming tables with 729 gaming machines.

PH Resorts is the casino development arm of Uy’s Udenna Group, whose assets span energy, logistics, property, telecommunications and restaurants. Bloomberg News previously reported that the conglomerate was open to selling assets to reduce debts.

PH Resorts said in the statement it was also in “advanced discussions with other parties” to sell certain assets “currently not generating any cash flows.” It did not identify the assets.

READ:  PH Resorts Group eyes sale of assets

‘Positive signs’

PH Resorts president and CEO Raymundo Martin Escalona pointed to positive signs mid the steady recovery of tourism in the postpandemic era.

This included the reopening of the company’s Donatela Resort & Sanctuary in Bohol last December.

Escalona said they remain optimistic despite ongoing financial difficulties, citing continued losses in the first quarter of 2023.

“We have faced many challenges before but we will succeed. We have already seen some good indicators that make us see a positive future,” Escalona said in the statement.

During the annual meeting, shareholders of PH Resorts approved an increase in its authorized capital from P8 billion to P15 billion.

READ: Razon pulls out of casino investment deal with Davao’s Dennis Uy

They also approved plans to raise capital through an equity offering to the public or selected investors.

In May last year, Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts Corp. signed a term sheet to invest in PH Resorts’ companies Lapulapu Leisure Inc., which is developing the Emerald Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in Punta Engano, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, and Clark Grand Leisure Corp., which is developing The Base Resort Hotel and Casino in Clark in Pampanga. Bloomberry disclosed last March the planned investment was terminated.

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