Suntrust shareholders approve lease for hotel casino

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SUNTRUST Home Developers, Inc. said stockholders have approved a recently signed lease agreement for its planned hotel casino in Parañaque City.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, the company said the stockholders of Hong Kong’s Suncity Group Holdings, Ltd. gave their written approval for the agreements relating to the project site.

Suncity owns 51% of Suntrust, which it bought last year to enter the Philippines’ gaming market. Megaworld Corp. maintains a 34% stake in the company.

Suntrust signed in February a lease agreement with Westside City Resorts World, Inc. and Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. for the project site of the hotel casino. One of the requirements for the deal to proceed was to obtain the approval of Suncity’s stockholders.

The agreement covers a multi-year lease for three parcels of land located at the Manila Bayshore Integrated City in Parañaque City. This is where the hotel casino will be built as part of Megaworld’s 31-hectare Westside City.

The stockholders also approved a project site payment of $200 million payable by Suntrust to lessors Westside and Travellers.

“By the lease agreement, Suntrust is given the right to use the project site, where the Main Hotel Casino will be built and operated,” it said.

The lease is for an original term of until Aug. 19, 2039, and is renewable automatically for another 25 years. Annual rent is priced at $10.6 million, excluding value-added tax, payable in two installments or on a semi-annual basis.

Suntrust and Westside is co-developing the hotel casino in Megaworld’s Westside City, envisioned to be a five-star hotel with at least 400 rooms and a casino establishment.

Shares in Suntrust at the stock exchange climbed eight centavos or 7.27% to P1.18 each yesterday. — Denise A. Valdez