MANILA, Philippines – The upcoming casino-entertainment project in the reclaimed Manila Bay area is paving a way for different deals between and among local and foreign companies.
The latest is a P45 billion-worth deal between two existing franchisees: the Andrew Tan and Kazuo Okada groups.
On Monday, July 16, Andrew Tan-led Empire East Land Holdings disclosed that it has formed a joint venture with the Okada-led Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. and Eagle 1 Landholdings Inc. for the exclusive development of the high-end residential component of the Okada-led integrated resort.
Empire East will “take the lead with a majority stake in the development of a 12.95-hectare luxury residential resort condominium project in Entertainment City Manila. The high-end project will comprise more than 25 residential towers in several phases.”
Real estate project
Empire East was previously the affordable arm of the group of Tan, who chairs Alliance Global. The main property unit of Tan is Megaworld Corp.
The casino-entertainment project, however, has made Empire East rethink its strategy.
“Empire East will compete with all the developers in the market including Megaworld. This is healthier rather than limiting ELI (Empire East) into one segment of the market. The market is very active now. ELI wants to have a piece of the high-end market as well,” Empire East president Anthony Charlemagne Yu said in a statement.
Part of the P45 billion-worth Empire East residential project at the Entertainment City will be in the $4 billion total investment of the Okada group in the area.
Tan-led Alliance Global, which has formed a deal with Malaysian casino firm Genting Berhad Lt, and Okada-led Universal Entertainment, are two of the 4 groups awarded by the casino regulator Pagcor the right to develop and build complexes at the Pagcor Entertainment City.
Previously, the Okada and another real estate developer, the Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Inc., are mulling a deal for the retail component of Okada’s project.
Australian billionaire James Packer and Macau casino mogul Lawrence Ho have previously inked a deal with the Belle Corp., which is led by the Philippines’ richest man, Henry Sy.
The fourth franchisee is Enrique Razon-led Bloombery Resorts.
Each franchisee is required to invest a minimum of $1 billion into their respective projects. Okada had promised to pour in $4 billion. – Rappler.com
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