Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Razon enters Pagcor ‘Bay Shore’ project

ENJ David

BUSINESSMAN ENRIQUE K. Razon, Jr., head of multinational port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), has bought a gaming company that will build a casino at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino project.

State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. expects to start construction at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino project later this year. Four firms have already been given casino licenses, including Bloombury Investment Holdings, Inc.

In a statement, Mr. Razon said he had acquired a controlling stake in Bloombury Investment Holdings, Inc. from Jose Ch. Alvarez, owner of Columbian Motors Corp.

“[Mr. Razon] has acquired a controlling interest in Bloombury from fellow businessman Jose Ch. Alvarez, and is set to infuse fresh equity of P5 billion or $100 million,” the statement said.

Bloombury is one of four companies granted a provisional license by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to operate and establish gaming and entertainment facilities at the Bay Shore Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City project at the Manila Bay Reclamation Area in Parañaque.

Other companies granted licenses were Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., the partnership between the Andrew L. Tan-led Alliance Global, Inc. and casino-resort operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd., SM Investments Corp. and Universal Entertainment Corp. (formerly Azure Corp.), the leading manufacturer of gaming machines worldwide and co-investor in the Wynn chain of casino-hotels in Las Vegas and Macau.

Rafael Butch A. Francisco, president and chief operating officer of Pagcor, earlier said construction at the Bay Shore Entertainment City was expected to begin in the latter part of the year.

Mr. Razon’s entry into the Pagcor project came after his exit from the power transmission business. Last month, Henry Sy, Jr.’s OneTaipan Holdings, Inc. bought Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. from Mr. Razon’s group for $350 million.

Monte Oro owns 30% of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, the private utility that runs the country’s power transmission highway.

Mr. Razon’s statement said Bloombury was in the final stages of design development for its project in Bay Shore.

“Construction is expected to commence by the third quarter of this year,” at an estimated cost of $400 million for the first phase.

Upon completion, “the complex will include two five-star luxury hotel towers of over 1,000 rooms within a world-class entertainment and convention facility,” the statement read.

The complex will be “fully operational in two years and is expected to stimulate growth not only in the hotel and restaurant sector, but also in the construction and services sectors.”

Mr. Razon’s ICTSI operates the Manila International Container Terminal. Other key operations are in Brazil, Poland, Ecuador and Madagascar.

At the end of 2009, ICTSI’s revenues dropped to $421.7 million, or 9% from $463.1 million in 2008. Net income fell by 15% to $54.9 million in 2009 from the $64.2 million in the previous year due to the decline in global trade.

Shares in ICTSI closed at P23.50 apiece in yesterday’s trading, up 1.07% from the previous close of P23.25.

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