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Cebu IR developer considering US$341 million IPO

Monday, 18 December 2017 05:17
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The developer of a US$341 million integrated resort on Cebu’s Mactan Island in the Philippines is considering an initial public offering (IPO) to finance the project.

Udenna Development Company, controlled by Davao businessman Dennis Uy, broke ground on its Emerald Resort and Casino in July but says it still looking at funding options before embarking on full excavation of the 12.5 hectare site, according to national media outlet The Philippine Star.

“We have the option. We are looking at an IPO or backdoor listing,” said Raymundo Martin Escalona, Udenna’s Director of Special Projects.

“We’re waiting for the ECC (Environmental Clearance Certificate) before we can do initial excavation. We’re told the ECC will hopefully be out before Christmas because we complied, we submitted everything.”

Emerald Resort and Casino will target both foreign and local players, according to Escalona, with a particular focus on Koreans and Chinese. However, Udenna is yet to decide whether it will run casino operations itself or bring in outside expertize.

“We’re weighing whether in fact we’ll get an operator or run it ourselves,” he said.

“There’s a huge Korean market already in Mactan. That will be a natural market because they currently go to Cebu.”

The Mactan Island development was the first IR to be granted approval by the current Pagcor board earlier this year and has been described by designer Paul Steelman as sitting on one of the most beautiful sites in the world.

“This resort-casino can be a lot different from everyone else,” Steelman said in July.

“It will have grand suites, five-story aquariums, retail malls that will rival the best in Asia, among others. It will have gaming areas but we designed it to be family-friendly. The palatial aspect of this building will certainly attract more tourists. Besides, this site is one of the most beautiful in the world.”

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