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Solaire owner Bloomberry drops plan to invest in Mactan gaming resort

Artist's perspective of the Emerald Bay Resort and Casino on Mactan Island, Cebu.

Bloomberry Resorts Corp., the company that owns and operates Solaire Resort & Casino through its subsidiaries, has withdrawn its proposed investment into integrated resort projects being developed by Lapulapu Leisure, Inc. on Mactan Island and Clark Grand Leisure Corp. in Clark Global City in Pampanga.

Lapulapu Leisure, Inc., a unit of PH Travel and Leisure Holdings Corp., is developing Emerald Bay Resort and Casino, a P34 billion resort on Mactan Island which is touted as the first large-scale gaming-anchored resort outside Luzon. PH Travel is a subsidiary of PH Resorts Group Holdings, Inc., the holding company for all tourism-related businesses of Dennis Uy's Udenna Group.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on March 22, 2023, Bloomberry said it decided to terminate the term sheet with PH Travel "after considering the results of due diligence on the target companies and the projects."

PH Resorts, in a separate disclosure, said the term sheet was the basis for a proposed investment into subsidiaries Lapulapu Leisure and Clark Leisure.

"While it is unfortunate that a deal was not closed, this now allows both parties to pursue their own plans," PH Resorts president Raymundo Martin M. Escalona said.

He said they will "reenter into discussions with other parties that were previously put into the backburner due to the contemplated investment by Bloomberry."

Emerald Bay is being developed on a 12.4-hectare beachfront property in Punta Engaño. It will include a five-star hotel with nearly 800 rooms, a large gaming area with more than 100 tables and over 700 electronic gaming machines, 16 restaurants, and retail outlets.

Related story: Casino resort project in Mactan tops off 2 towers

Screenshot from the PH Resorts website

Emerald Bay was granted fiscal incentives by the Board of Investments (BOI) in the first quarter of 2019, according to a report by the BOI Domestic Investments Promotion Service Cebu extension office.

Meanwhile, Udenna was granted by gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) in May 2017 a provisional license to operate a casino. Udenna acquired majority stake in PH Resorts through a sale and purchase agreement in mid-2018. (MVI/Ventures Cebu)

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