Villar group 'seriously looking at' telecoms, casino

MANILA, Philippines – The group of tycoon Manuel Villar is considering telecommunications and gaming as new ventures, and is eyeing potential partners for the planned diversification.

Paolo Villar, the eldest son of Villar and head of the family's listed real estate firm Vista Land & Lifescapes Incorporated, said they are "seriously looking at" these sectors.

Villar added that their family has properties that could house a casino.

On the telecommunications side, Villar said they are involved in several property developments across the Philippines that could use telecommunications-related infrastructure.

Villar, however, declined to elaborate further and to identify which vehicle would be used to undertake these new ventures.

Back in 2017, Villar-owned Streamtech Systems Technologies Incorporated applied for a congressional franchise "to construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain telecommunications systems throughout the Philippines."

Under the plan, they sought to initially provide fixed broadband services to homeowners of communities being developed by Vista Land. (READ: Duterte says he would 'die' for Manny Villar)

The Villar group is primarily into property development through Vista Land, which owns the Camella brand, as well as Starmalls Incorporated and Golden Bria Holdings Incorporated.

Airport project?

At the same time, Villar said the group is also eyeing unsolicited infrastructure projects, possibly an airport project.

"Other groups are looking at infrastructure. So we are definitely looking at the infrastructure sector and definitely we have some projects in mind," he said.

Villar, however, said they will not venture into toll road projects since his brother, Mark Villar, is the secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

"Obviously, we are optimistic about the Philippines over the next few years. That is one of the key reasons why we are getting into all these things. The conditions have been set for growth. We are expecting growth and so we are planning for growth," he said.

The Villars are also behind All Value, which owns and operates AllHome, a home improvement and builders' center; All Day Supermarket; All Day Convenience Store; Coffee Project; Bake My Day pastry shop; All Sports; and All Toys. –