International edition
June 23, 2021

Manila resort could be unshackled by new partnership

Okada close to Philippines deal

(Philippines).- Kazuo Okada’s investment group is close to securing a second local partner which will enable him to bypassa foreign ownership limit, that has proved an obstacle to his us$2 billion gaming resort in Manila.


rivately held First Paramount Holdings 888 said it expects to finalize an agreement this week, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which said the company also is evaluating an investment in Okada's Manila Bay Resorts, which is slated to open in 2015 in the government’s new Entertainment City resort district on Manila Bay.

Okada and several Japanese and Philippine associates still face charges of bribery in connection with the project, and investigations are ongoing in the Philippines and the United States.

First Paramount has agreed to spend us$8 million to acquire a 24% stake in Eagle 1 Landholdings, the Okada vehicle that owns the 44-hectare plot where the casino and hotel will be built, one of four licensed for Entertainment City. Together with a 36% stake to be acquired by locally owned Century Properties Group this will bring Philippine ownership in Eagle 1 to 60%, the minimum required under federal law.

First Paramount is a subsidiary of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp., a leading Philippine builder of large-scale ports, harbor and other infrastructure works. Sta. Elena is the civil works contractor for Manila Bay Resorts and has worked with Solaire Resort & Casino, which opened at Entertainment City in March, and Melco Crown’s City of Dreams Manila scheduled to open at the complex next summer.

The fourth Entertainment City licensee is Travellers International Hotel Group, a joint venture between Genting Hong Kong and local property giant Alliance Global. Travellers owns the country's largest casino, Resorts World Manila.

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