BLOOMBERRY Resorts Corp., through its unit Solaire Korea Co. Ltd., has purchased another island in South Korea as well as a 92 percent stake in a Korean gaming firm as part of its expansion program in the region.
In a statement forwarded to media on Tuesday, the operator of Solaire Resorts & Casino at the Entertainment City Manila said Solaire Korea has signed a real estate sales agreement to purchase 20.96-hectare Silmi Island in South Korea.
Silmi is adjacent to Muui Island and is still within the Incheon Free Economic Zone.
“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 Korea is a likely choice because of its positive investment climate,” Solaire chairman and chief executive officer Enrique Razon said.
Bloomberry had previously signed four sales deals to buy the 12.2-hectare Muui Island in January.
The Silmi Island acquisition will expand Solaire’s developable land in Korea to 33.16 hectares for its future leisure, tourism and entertainment complex in the area, which is part of efforts to grow in a new market.
The company said it will disclose the price and details of the transaction once the deal is finalized.
Silmi Island is in the Yellow Sea west of South Korea. It is 20 kilometers away from Incheon City and 5 kilometers from Incheon International Airport.
In a separate statement sent on the same day, the company said it has signed a purchase deal with shareholders of South Korean gaming firm Golden & Luxury Company Limited (G&L) to acquire up to 92 percent interest in the gaming firm.
G&L owns and operates T.H.E Hotel & Vegas Casino, one of seven casinos on Jeju Island in South Korea. Bloomberry will use G&L as an anchor to set up base in Korea.
“We are excited at the prospect of Solaire setting up a base in Korea and of introducing the Solaire brand of integrated resorts to the country.
This is our first venture outside of the Philippines and the possibilities for expansion in this country are promising,” Razon said.
The company is looking to capitalize on the flow of Korean, Chinese and Japanese gamers on Jeju Island, a popular vacation spot which attracted 2.3 million foreign tourists last year, of which 1.8 million were from China.
Bloomberry said the prospects for Jeju are good as its Chinese visitors are expected to grow to 5.3 million this year.
Formerly known as Active Alliance Inc., Bloomberry was incorporated in 1999 and is engaged in the development and operation of integrated resorts, casino, entertainment and tourism complex Solaire Resort & Casino. It is owned and led by ports magnate Enrique Razon, who also owns International Container Terminal Services Inc.