SunTrust to sell non-gaming assets to fund new Manila casino


SunTrust to sell non-gaming assets to fund new Manila casino

SunTrust Home Developers Inc, the majority-owned Philippines subsidiary of SunCity Group Holdings, aims to sell its remaining stake in a real estate business to a local partner with the intention to shift focus on the casino business and a new venue in Manila.

According to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Asian E-Commerce Inc was identified as the sales partner. The company will acquire more than 24% of SunTrust’s interest in First Oceanic Property Management Group (FOPM), a real estate management firm. The acquisition reportedly cost PHP153.7m ($3.2m).

In a statement, SunTrust said the nature of the FOPM business “is entirely unrelated to the casino and entertainment market of the Philippines in which the Group is investing.” It added that “the disposal allows the group to dispose of its non-core business, and focus on and deploy its resources to its principal businesses.”

SunCity acquired a 51% stake in SunTrust back in 2019 in order to develop the main hotel and casino at Westside City Resorts World (pictured) in the Entertainment City precinct in Manila. Earlier this year, SunCity raised PHP12.9bn ($268.6m) to finance the project by issuing convertible bonds. Megaworld is another shareholder in SunTrust, with a 30% stake in the company, which also owns 50% of Asian E-Commerce, with interest in the new venue.

The Westside City Resorts World is scheduled to open in 2023 and is said to include 400 gaming tables, 1,200 slot machines and 400 five-star hotel rooms.

“The Group intends to apply the net sale proceeds from the disposal as general working capital and to partially finance the construction of the Main Hotel Casino that is currently under development by SunTrust,” the statement added.