Suncity Group looks set to extend its global casino interests to the Philippines via a multi-layered agreement that would include operating the main hotel and casino at Westside City Resorts World – the fourth integrated resort being developed in Manila’s Entertainment City precinct.
Westside City Resorts World is a sprawling, multi-billion dollar leisure and entertainment township being developed on 31-hectares by Philippines construction giant Megaworld Corporation and Resorts World Manila operator Travellers International Hotel Group, a joint venture between Genting Hong Kong and Alliance Global Group.
According to a Tuesday morning filing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Suncity Group has reached an agreement with Megaworld and an entity called Aurora Securities, Inc to purchase the entire issued share capital in Philippines-listed Suntrust Home Developers Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Suncity’s wholly-owned subsidiary Fortune Noble Ltd will acquire 2.55 billion shares in SunTrust – equal to 51% of issued shares – at a cost of Php1.0 per share with Megaworld to acquire 43.5% and Aurora the remaining 5.5%.
A Suntrust press release added that the company was increasing its authorised capital stock from its existing level of Php3 billion to Php23 billion.
“Around 5 billion common shares will be subscribed by Fortune Noble Limited and Megaworld,” it said, after which, “Fortune Noble will continue to own and maintain its majority controlling interest in Suntrust, while Megaworld will have at least 34% stake.”
Connected to Suncity Group’s investment in Suntrust is a Co-Development Agreement entered into between Westside and Suntrust under which Westside and Travellers will lease the project site for the main hotel and casino at Westside City Resorts World to Suntrust for development.
Suntrust will be appointed as the “sole and exclusive operator and manager of the Main Hotel Casino” pending regulatory approval.
Inside Asian Gaming has learned that the hotel and casino portion of the broader Westside City Resorts World township will have a development cost of US$700 million and cover an area of around 44,000 square meters, with building floor area of 182,000 square meters.
The high-end project will include 400 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines across both VIP and mass gaming, plus 400 five-star hotel rooms and 960 parking spaces, due to open in 4Q22. The Westside City Resorts World township will also offer additional facilities such as a Grand Theatre, shopping malls and 2,000 parking spaces.
Suncity is funding its Suntrust investment courtesy of a loan from CEO Alvin Chau, which IAG understands will be offered at a low interest rate of 3.5%. Given that Suncity Group holds a 51% stake in Suntrust, it is believed that revenue from its Westside City hotel and casino development will be consolidated into the financial accounts of Suncity Group’s Hong Kong-listed entity.
Outlining the reasons for entering the Philippines IR market, Chau told IAG, “I am confident in the Philippines gaming market since it has been growing rapidly in recent years.
“By partnering with Westside and Travellers through Suntrust, Suncity is able to build and operate our own integrated resort in the heart of Entertainment City. We are excited to join the ride on one of the fastest Asian gaming growth engines.
“I envision the Suncity brand going global and becoming a world-class entertainment provider and leading integrated resort operator in the future.”
Westside City Resorts World will be located between Solaire Resorts & Casino and City of Dreams Manila.