PH casino operator Bloomberry buys South Korean island

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PH casino operator Bloomberry buys South Korean island
As part of its maiden overseas expansion bid, Bloomberry is also acquiring 92% of a casino operator in the popular Asian country

MANILA, Philippines – Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, the leisure and gaming unit of billionaire Enrique K. Razon Jr, is upping the ante on its first overseas venture with its looming acquisition of an island and a casino operator in South Korea.

Bloomberry signed a deal to buy the 20.96-hectare Silmi Island in South Korea, adjacent to the 12.2- hectare property in Muui Island that it bought in January.

Silmi Island is in the Yellow Sea in the west coast of South Korea, 20 kilometers from Incheon City and about 5 kilometers away from Incheon International Airport.

One of its beaches, Silmi Beach, is connected to Silmi Island by tidal flats exposed for two hours every day during low tide, making it possible to walk from one island to another.

Muui Island, meanwhile, is a popular tourist destination.  It is located in Jung-gu, Incheon, not far from the mainland and accessible by ferry. 

The two island properties will be acquired by Solaire Korea Company Limited. Bloomberry did not disclose the acquisition costs for both deals.

Both islands are located in the Greater Incheon area and within the coverage of the Incheon Free Economic Zone, which is intended to be developed into a leisure and tourism complex with entertainment facilities and mixed-use developments.

Expansion spree

In a separate disclosure to the stock exchange, Bloomberry also said that its subsidiary Solaire Korea signed an agreement to acquire up to 92% of Golden & Luxury Company Limited, owner and operator of T.H.E. Hotel & Vegas Casino in Jeju Island, South Korea.

T.H.E. Hotel & Vegas Casino is one of 7 casinos on Jeju Island in the Republic of Korea, which is a vacation spot for Koreans, Japanese, and the huge Chinese tourism market.

Commenting on its first venture outside the Philippines, Razon said his firm is excited to introduce the Solaire brand of integrated resorts to South Korea. 

“Solaire is on a trajectory of growth and we are now slightly shifting our focus to other destinations.  Although this will happen in the next few years, it is good business to start prospecting, and [South] Korea is a likely choice because of its positive investment climate,” Razon said in a statement.

Bloomberry owns and operates Solaire Resort & Casino, dubbed as the first fully integrated resort casino in the Philippines that opened in March 2013 in PAGCOR’s Entertainment City.

Razon, 55, also upped his ranking to  to 291st this year in Forbes billionaires’ list, from from  354th  in 2014, with an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion. He is the chairman and CEO of the International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), which has control over 29 ports across 21 countries, and is considered the largest port operator in the Philippines.

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