MEGAWORLD Corp. announced on Wednesday that it had forged a memorandum of agreement with Manila Jockey Club, Inc. to buy a 2.2-hectare property in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

In a disclosure filed with the stock exchange, the listed township developer described the property as “part of the historic 16-hectare San Lazaro Tourism and Business Park in the northern part of Manila.” It also said that the “prime” real estate would boost the company’s presence in the city.

In a separate disclosure, Manila Jockey Club told the exchange of the same agreement and disclosed the purchase price at P1,887,733,375.

The listed racetrack operator said it had agreed to sell, transfer and convey all of its rights, title and interest in “certain parcels of land,” which it placed at 22,143.50 square meters, to Megaworld.

“The definitive sale agreements shall be executed upon the submission of closing documents to the satisfaction of buyer,” it said.

Megaworld said it currently owns nearly 5,000 hectares of land across the country, with around 300 hectares located in Metro Manila, covering nine urban townships and lifestyle estates.

“Currently, our big projects in the City of Manila are concentrated in the Binondo district, particularly within our Lucky Chinatown project where we have a lifestyle mall, condominium towers, a cultural museum, and a hotel,” Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin L. Tan said in the disclosure.

“When we finalize the purchase of this land in San Lazaro, this will surely be part of our township portfolio expansion in Metro Manila,” he added.

The agreement comes after the board of Megaworld approved in December the sale of four prime buildings located in economic zones to MREIT, Inc. The purchase price of P9.116 billion will be paid by MREIT upon the execution of a deed of absolute sale on or before Dec. 29, 2021.

MREIT is a company designated by Megaworld to operate as a real estate investment trust (REIT). Megaworld is the listing sponsor and 62% owner of MREIT.

As of the third quarter of 2021, Megaworld posted an attributable income of P8.16 billion, up nearly 10% from P7.42 billion in the same period in 2020.

In contrast, Manila Jockey Club’s attributable net loss widened during the January-September period to P143.12 million from P128.33 million previously.

At the local bourse on Wednesday, Megaworld lost one centavo or 0.31% to close at P3.18 apiece. Shares in Manila Jockey Club fell by eight centavos or 3.36% to finish at P2.30. — M.C. Lucenio