PH Resorts Group is in the final stages of negotiations with two potential investors, aiming to resume construction of its Cebu integrated casino resort, The Emerald Bay. The company recently obtained shareholder approval to increase its authorized capital stock to provide a potential funding injection of around US$128 million.
Manila-based tycoon Dennis Uy has disclosed that the company is currently engaged in advanced negotiations with both foreign and local investors to secure funding for the completion of the ambitious US$300 million Emerald Bay integrated resort casino project in Cebu. This comes after billionaire Enrique Razon Jr. decided to withdraw from a potential deal. However in light of the new deal the flagship Emeral Bay integrated casino resort will be completed on scedule.
Stock price experiences significant increase
PH Resorts operates as the casino development arm of Uy’s Udenna Group, a diversified conglomerate with interests spanning energy, logistics, property, telecommunications, and restaurants. Reports from Bloomberg News had previously indicated that the conglomerate was open to selling assets in order to reduce debts.
The news of completion had a positive impact on the company’s stock performance, with its shares experiencing a remarkable surge of nearly 15.7 percent, closing at P0.59 each at the end of the week.
Raymundo Martin M. Escalona, President and CEO of PH Resorts, expressed confidence in overcoming challenges and seeing a positive future for the project. The company highlighted the reopening of its Donatela Resort & Sanctuary in Bohol in December 2022 and ongoing discussions with other parties to monetize assets that currently generate no cash flows.
While negotiations with Bloomberry Resorts Corp to acquire shares in The Emerald Bay and another project in Clark fell through in March, PH Resorts remains focused on The Emerald Bay. The completed resort would be the second integrated resort in Cebu, following the opening of Nustar in 2022.
Casino will feature over a thousand gaming tables and slots
The Emerald Bay project is planned to be developed on a sprawling 12.4-hectare beachfront property in Mactan, Cebu. Once completed, it will boast 780 hotel rooms and villas, along with a casino featuring over a thousand gaming tables and slot machines.
In its latest statement, PH Resorts mentioned that it is also actively engaged in discussions with other parties regarding the potential sale of certain assets that are currently not generating any cash flows. However, specific details about these assets were not disclosed.
PH Resorts will raise capital through equity offering
Despite facing ongoing financial challenges and continued losses in the first quarter of 2023, PH Resorts experienced positive signs too, such as the steady recovery of tourism post-pandemic and the successful reopening of the company’s Donatela Resort & Sanctuary in Bohol last December.
During the annual meeting, PH Resorts’ shareholders granted approval for an increase in its authorized capital from P8 billion to P15 billion. Additionally, plans to raise capital through an equity offering to the public or selected investors were also approved.
In May of the previous year, Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts Corp. had signed a term sheet to invest in PH Resorts’ companies, Lapulapu Leisure Inc., which was developing the Emerald Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, and Clark Grand Leisure Corp., which was developing The Base Resort Hotel and Casino in Clark, Pampanga. However, Bloomberry later disclosed that the planned investment had been terminated as of March.