JCM Fuzion

Resorts World Manila IPO: It's Back

Monday, 30 September 2013 00:31

Travellers International Hotel Group is reviving plans to raise up to US$500 million with a public offering of shares in its Resort World Manila casino and hotel complex.

A report in The Wall Street Journal says the joint venture wants to start taking orders from institutional and retail investors early in October and list on the Philippine Stock Exchange by the end of the month. Citing sources involved in the deal, the Journal says bankers have been speaking to potential investors to take up what are known as “cornerstone” stakes in the IPO.

Cornerstone investors buy into an offering before it’s officially launched, usually pledging to hold their shares for a fixed period, reducing the risk of a sell-offafter the listing.

Resorts World Manila is the Philippines’ largest and most lucrative casino, and Travellers wants to expand both its gambling and extensive non-gambling offering by adding 1,100 more hotel rooms to the existing 1,500 or so, together with a convention center and other attractions. The company also holds one of the four gaming licenses at the Entertainment City development zone on Manila Bay, where it plans to build a destination-scale casino called Resorts World Bayshore currently priced at $1.1 billion.

The IPO, first announced in the spring, will provide part of the funding for both. The company originally hoped to raise up to $1 billion, and a July filing with the PSX called for a sale of up to 1.57 billion shares. But Asia’s markets, red-hot in the first half of the year, had cooled by that point—the Philippines’ benchmark PSE Composite Index, which had surged 27% through May, had lost most of those gains over the summer—and Travellers downsized the offering and finally pulled it altogether.

If it is successful this time the listing will be the largest in the Philippines this year, according to the Journal.

Travellers is 50-50 owned by Hong Kong-listed Genting Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia, the global gaming arm of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Group, and Alliance Global Group, a PSX-listed corporation with extensive holdings in the Philippines in commercial and residential property and food and beverage.

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