RLC, Okada $1-billion casino project called off

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The $1-billion joint casino resort project of Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) and Okada-led Universal Entertainment Corp. that is supposed to rise in Entertainment City, Parañaque, in early 2015 has been called off.

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In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, RLC disclosed on Wednesday that upon mutual agreement, it has decided to call off its agreement with the Okada-led group concerning its joint project in Pagcor Entertainment City.

“RLC and Universal Entertainment have decided not to pursue discussions between them concerning the proposed development located in the Pagcor Entertainment City Project,” the property developer said in the corporate disclosure.

When sought for reaction, Frederick Go, RLC president and chief executive officer, only said “no further explanations.”

For its part, Universal Entertainment disclosed at the Jasdaq Securities Exchange that “if any events to be disclosed occurred in the future, we will promptly announce them,” confirming that the deal with RLC has indeed been postponed.

Jasdaq is the electronic security exchange based in Tokyo, where Universal Entertainment is listed.

In December last year, RLC announced its partnership with Universal Entertainment for Manila Bay Resorts, a $1-billion joint project that is set for completion in late 2014.

Henry Yap, general manager of RLC, earlier told reporters that the target completion for the project is late 2014 or early 2015. The project basically includes a casino, hotel and retail-casino hotels, casino area, and artificial beach club, among others.

Yap even said that the company will build the integrated resort portion first.

“Hopefully, all the hotels will be ready [in late 2014], we will concentrate on the higher ends of the hotels first, and majority should be ready when we open,” he added.

As for the investment of RLC in the project, Yap then said that the transaction is still in the process of due diligence so the company could not disclose anything yet.

“We’re now in due diligence stage but we’re taking in a minority stake in the company that would operate this resort project,” he earlier said.

Manila Bay Resorts is supposed to have three hotels, two luxury hotels and one budget hotel, and residential developments.

This much-awaited project was expected to draw interest from local and foreign visitors, particularly those from around Asia-Pacific.

The project was also expected to generate employment for over 5,000 people, with multiplier effect resulting to jobs for over 10,000 people.

The stock market price of RLC declined on Wednesday by 1.8 percent after the announcement.

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