Pagcor awards Entertainment City parcel to Bloomberry

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THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has awarded 16 hectares of land in Entertainment City to a unit of Razon-led Bloomberry Resorts Corp. for P37.3 billion, the listed firm said on Friday.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Bloomberry said its wholly owned subsidiary Sureste Properties, Inc. (SPI) was the winning bidder for the property, located near Solaire Resort and Casino and its expansion area. SPI was the only bidder for the property after two failed biddings.

Pagcor approved the purchase price for the property on April 18, which is P100 million above the floor price the authority placed on the area.

SPI will complete the transaction within the next 45 days, including the signing of the deed of absolute sale and the payment of the balance for the property. The company currently holds a long-term lease on the property which runs until 2033.

The Bloomberry unit, which owns and operates the hotel and non-gaming facilities in Solaire, submitted its bid for the property last January. Pagcor first put the land up for bid in December 2017, but no bidders submitted a proposal.

Bloomberry net income increased 161% in 2017 to P6.06 billion, as revenues climbed to P36.7 billion during the year. The profit increase was due to record gross gaming revenues from Solaire that rose by 16% to P44.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the non-gaming segment contributed P3.34 billion, up 40% year-on-year following improvements in its hotel, food and beverage, and retail components.

Solaire’s non-gaming segment currently includes 312 all-suite hotel rooms, a 1,760-seat Broadway-style theater called The Theatre, and an array of luxury retailers called The Shoppes.

Outside the Philippines, the company also operates the Jeju Sun and Hotel Casino in Korea. The company had earlier planned to sell the business, but noted that the venture is now close to breaking even. At the end of 2017, Bloomberry narrowed the Korean business’ losses to P207 million, against P1.14 billion the year before.

Shares in Bloomberry shed two centavos or 0.17% to close at P12.02 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday. — Arra B. Francia