Malaysia’s Kuok, Yeoh not joining bid for PAGCOR

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2010 01:30 PM | Updated as of Aug 12 2010 02:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malaysian tycoons Robert Kuok and Francis Yeoh do not have plans to bid for Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).

Bloomberg news wires reported on Tuesday that the 2 tycoons denied a report by the Manila-based Philippine Daily Inquirer, quoting San Miguel Corp. President Ramon Ang, that they may make a joint offer for the Philippine gambling regulator and operator, which he valued at $10 billion.

Yeoh is managing director of YTL Corp., Malaysia’s biggest builder. Kuok and another tycoon, Ananda Krishnan, are Malaysia’s richest persons. Krishnan was also mentioned by Ang as being interested in PAGCOR.

Yeoh “is completely taken aback” by and “very unhappy” with the report, Sylvia Chew, his special assistant, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.

“He does not know Ramon Ang nor has he ever spoken to the individual. YTL does not participate in the gaming industry, and this will continue to be the case.”

Kuok, his family and the Kuok Group of companies have “no intention of investing in the gaming industry,” Kuok Group said in a separate e-mail to Bloomberg, while declining to comment directly on the report.

Bloomberg said that Ang, who said on Monday that he was bidding for himself, not San Miguel, on Tuesday, didn’t immediately reply to mobile phone calls and text messages seeking his comment.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, who took office June 30, has said he’s leaning toward splitting the company’s regulatory and casino-operating arms.

On Monday, Aquino said Ang’s bid was “very interesting” even as government spokesmen said a formal offer hadn’t been made.

PAGCOR had gross revenue of P30.3 billion ($671 million) last year and contributed P12.2 billion to the national government in franchise taxes and income share, according to its spokesman Jay Santiago.