PH Resorts Seeks New Investors for Emerald Bay Project

The acquisition talks between PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. and Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) have officially ended. The deal, which would have seen TRLEI invest in PH Resorts’ Emerald Bay Resort casino project in Mactan, Cebu, was terminated, according to a Tuesday filing by PH Resorts.

TRLEI, a subsidiary of Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp., operates the Okada Manila casino resort in Manila. PH Resorts, led by entrepreneur Dennis Uy, had hoped to finalize this agreement but now must look elsewhere for investment.

Raymundo Escalona, President of PH Resorts, stated in the announcement to the Philippine Stock Exchange, “We understand that the Okada Manila operator no longer intends to pursue the Emerald Bay acquisition. Nevertheless, this development shall give PH Resorts the opportunity to engage with other parties which have already expressed their keen interest in the Emerald Bay Project but have been unable to formalize such interest due to the restrictions under the TRLEI deal.”

Escalona also reassured shareholders and stakeholders, saying, “The company’s management is already working towards another transaction, be it an acquisition, joint venture, or otherwise, that will ensure the completion of the Emerald Bay project.”

PH Resorts will continue to keep the public informed on significant updates as they arise, according to the filing.

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Universal Entertainment had announced on Monday that TRLEI had notified PH Resorts of the termination due to unmet closing conditions. The Japanese company stated, “Due to confidentiality obligations, the company does not provide specific details of this matter.”

In late June, PH Resorts addressed media reports about the negotiations, clarifying that any claims of disagreements over commercial terms were unfounded and not part of the discussions.

Previously, on December 8, TRLEI had signed a preliminary agreement to acquire a significant majority ownership of PH Travel and Leisure Holdings Corp., which includes the Emerald Bay project. PH Resorts confirmed in April that one of its subsidiaries received an initial non-refundable payment of PHP300.1 million (US$5.2 million) from TRLEI towards the cost of a stock subscription for majority ownership.

Universal Entertainment noted that a final agreement was expected to be signed this month. However, with the termination of the term sheet, PH Resorts must now seek new partnerships or investors to move the Emerald Bay project forward.

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