Resorts World operator gets $300-M in funds

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, BusinessWorld

Posted at Oct 29 2010 12:38 AM | Updated as of Oct 29 2010 06:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., a joint venture between Andrew L. Tan-led Alliance Global Group, Inc. and Genting Hong Kong Ltd., has raised $300 million in fresh capital by selling 7-year bonds.

The maiden offering of the unlisted hotel and leisure firm, bagged the lowest coupon rate for a gaming firm worldwide, officials said.

Fresh funds will be for the “expansion of Resorts World,” Alliance Global President Kingson U. Sian told reporters.

“Travellers [International] was able to successfully tap the bond market after just a year of operations. It has no credit history yet,” he added.

“Since this is the maiden issue of [Travellers International], for them to raise $300 million and $1.1 billion in demand is unique,” said Lauro C. Baja III, managing director of sole global coordinator UBS Investments Philippines, Inc.

The coupon rate for the bonds due in 2017 is 6.9%, lower than the guidance of 7.5%.

“[The investors] are comfortable with the principal shareholders Alliance Global and Genting,” Mr. Baja said.

The bonds were sold to 88 investors, 90% of which were from Asia, and 10% from Europe. Mr. Baja said 59% of the bonds were secured by banks. A quarter went to fund managers.

UBS and Deutsche Bank were the joint book runners while the local lead manager was Banco De Oro Capital and Investment Corp.
Mr. Baja said investors wanted more exposure to Alliance Global following the conglomerate’s $500-million maiden bond issue, which was nine times oversubscribed, in August.

Travellers International, which operates the eight-hectare Resorts World Manila in Pasay, is 50% owned by Genting, the third-largest cruise line operator in the world.