Philippine tycoons

Still no white knight: Okada parent ends talks with Dennis Uy’s Emerald Bay casino resort

Ralf Rivas

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Still no white knight: Okada parent ends talks with Dennis Uy’s Emerald Bay casino resort
The parent of Okada Manila is the third company to walk away from asset sale talks with Dennis Uy's PH Resorts to complete the Emerald Bay project in Mactan, Cebu

MANILA, Philippines – Dennis Uy still has no white knight to fund the stalled development of Emerald Bay casino in Cebu, after the parent company of Okada Manila officially walked away from discussions.

In a stock exchange filing on Tuesday, July 2, Uy’s PH Resorts (PHR) said they received a letter from Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI), one of the parent companies of Okada Manila, terminating the term sheet signed last December 8, 2023.

PHR confirmed that the two companies were in talks for TRLEI to acquire “significant majority ownership” of its subsidiaries, namely Lapulapu Leisure, Inc. and Lapulapu Land Corporation, the companies that operate the Emerald Bay Project. Originally, the parties intended to execute the definitive agreements under the term sheet in July 2024.

island, resort, emerald bay resort and casino, buildings, trees, beach, corals
UNFINISHED. A view from the sky of the unfinished Emerald Bay Resort and Casino in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan, Cebu, from a PH Resorts Group October 2023 press release. Screenshot from PH Resorts Group website

“[T]his development shall give PHR the opportunity to engage with other parties which have already expressed their keen interest in the Emerald Bay Project, but have been unable to formalize due to the restrictions under the TRLEI deal,” PHR president Raymundo Escalona said.

Escalona assured shareholders that the Cebu casino would materialize, as the company works towards another transaction, “be it an acquisition, joint venture, or otherwise, that will ensure the completion of the Emerald Bay Project.”

TRLEI is the third company to walk away from the deal.

In 2022, Enrique Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts signed a term sheet with PHR, which included other projects in Clark, Pampanga. The deal fell through 10 months later.

Shortly after the failed sale to Razon, PHR started talks with AppleOne Properties. Talks were terminated in December 2023. 

building, lights, trees, emerald bay casino
CROWN JEWEL. An image of what PH Resorts Group’s Emerald Bay Resort and Casino in Mactan, Cebu would look like upon completion. Screenshot from PH Resorts Group website.

Located in Mactan, Cebu, Emerald Bay was envisioned to be a premier integrated resort casino in the Visayas, offering 146 gaming tables, 729 electronic gaming machines, and 780 hotel rooms with five villas. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.