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AGI taps Suncity Group for $1.1-B Westside project

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By James A. Loyola

After delisting its gaming and tourism venture with the Genting Group, tycoon Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc. has forged a partnership with Macau gaming company Fortune Noble Ltd. for the development of its $1.1 billion Entertainment City leisure complex.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Megaworld affiliate Suntrust Home Developers, Inc. said it is expanding its capital base as it shifts its focus into tourism development.

The Board of Directors of Suntrust approved the increase its authorized capital stock to ₱23 billion from ₱3 billion and the issuance of about 5 billion common shares to Fortune Noble Limited and Megaworld at par value.

Post the capital hike, Fortune Noble will continue to own and maintain its majority controlling interest in Suntrust, while Megaworld will have at least 34 percent stake.

Last week, Fortune Noble had acquired a 51 percent stake in Suntrust from shareholders through the open market and private sales including Megaworld, First Centro Inc. and Townsquare Development Inc. for ₱1.1 billion.

Suntrust said its fund-raising activities for tourism-related businesses will also include issuance of convertible bonds, with conversion price that is at premium to par value of not more than 20 percent.

Suntrust will also enter into a Co-Development Agreement with Westside City Resorts World, Inc., “on such reasonable terms and conditions as the Corporation’s Management may deem appropriate.”

Travellers International Hotels Group, Inc., the AGI-Genting joint venture, had earlier committed to invest US$1.1 billion, or roughly P57 billion, to build the Westside City Resorts World complex.

Under the new agreement, Westside and Travellers are to lease the Project Site to SunTrust for development of the Main Hotel Casino and Westside is to appoint SunTrust as the sole and exclusive operator and manager of the Main Hotel Casino.

“Suntrust believes that the tourism sector, which has seen significant growth in recent years, will continue to show sustainable growth and attract more investments,” the firm said.

It also expressed optimism that, with the support of its shareholders, it will be able to drive more growth for the Company and contribute to the tourism industry.

Fortune Noble Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suncity Group Holdings Limited, a listed company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The Suncity Group is known to have extensive experience in the leisure and entertainment business, and is actively seeking investment opportunities in integrated resort projects worldwide including Cambodia, Philippines, Myanmar, South Korea, Japan, Russia and Vietnam.

Other than investment in integrated resorts, the Suncity Group is also engaged in integrated resort consultancy services, as well as travel related products and services.

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