SM Group completes consolidation of gaming assets into Sinophil

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 24 2014 09:02 AM | Updated as of Jul 24 2014 05:02 PM

MANILA - Listed firm Sinophil Corp. has completed several transactions that allowed it to transition into the holding company for the gaming assets of the SM Group.

In a regulatory filing, Sinophil said it implemented definitive agreements in line with its corporate reorganization, taking over the gaming business of Belle Corp., which will then focus on real estate development and other allied businesses.

“A deed of sale of shares has been executed covering the sale by Belle to Sinophil of all its equity interest in Premium Leisure Amusements Inc. (PLAI),” Sinophil said.

Sinophil secured 50,000 PLAI common shares worth P10.84 billion from parent firm Belle. PLAI is part of the consortium that holds the license for the $1.3-billion City of Dreams Manila that will be operated by Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.

Belle, which is controlled by the SM Group, also completed the transfer of its 34.5-percent stake in Pacific Online Systems Corp. worth P1.525 billion through a block sale. Pacific Online is the online lottery system provider of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“The agreed purchase price of the Pacific Online shares is based on the then prevailing market price of Pacific Online shares when the purchase price was agreed upon by the parties,” Sinophil said.

For its part, Sinophil sold to Belle non-gaming assets composed of membership shares in Tagaytay Midlands Golf Club Inc., a lot located within the Aseana Business Park at the Manila Bay Reclamation Area, several parcels of land in The Parks at Saratoga Hills within the Tagaytay Midlands complex, and an undeveloped land located in Tanauan, Batangas.

“The foregoing properties will be paid for in cash, at an aggregate selling price of P806.88 million,” Sinophil said.

“The company, which has been pretty much a dormant holding company for quite some time, will now be at the forefront of a very profitable industry based on the performance of the companies currently in the Philippine gaming market,” Sinophil earlier said.

Sinophil was incorporated as Sinophil Exploration Co. Inc. in 1993, focusing on oil and gas exploration and development projects. It then joined several geophysical survey and exploration contracts for various petroleum blocks nationwide before converting into a holding firm in 1997.

The casino project is the SM Group’s first venture in the integrated casino business. It is also Melco Crown’s first gaming foray outside Macau where it operates the City of Dreams and Altira Macau casinos.

City of Dreams will be the second casino complex to open at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s 120-hectare Entertainment City, which is being groomed to become the Philippines’ version of the Las Vegas strip. In March last year, port mogul Enrique Razon opened the $1.2-billion Solaire Resort and Casino.