Monday, September 10, 2018

Melco to Delist from Philippine Stock Exchange due to Failure to Raise Funds for Casino Expansion

Casino News Daily
Melco to Delist from Philippine Stock Exchange due to Failure to Raise Funds for Casino Expansion

Melco (Philippines) Investments Limited, operator of City of Dreams Manila, today revealed plans to delist from the Philippine Stock Exchange, citing the inability to raise funds for planned expansion of the Manila-based integrated resort as the main reason for its decision.

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based gaming and hospitality giant Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which is in turn owned by international conglomerate Melco International Development. In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange from today, Melco said that its delisting from the Philippines would involve a voluntary tender offer for more than 1.5 billion outstanding common shares of Melco Resort & Entertainment (Philippines) Corp.

The company further explained that it had originally decided to list on the Philippine Stock Exchange to raise funds for expansion of its Philippine operation and other business plans. However, it failed to raise the expected funds which spurred the decision to delist.

Today’s filing further read that the move would allow Melco and its subsidiary Melco (Philippines) Investments to “better support” the City of Dreams Manila property in its future business plans.

The planned voluntary tender offer accounts for around 27.23% of the issued outstanding common shares of Melco Resorts Philippines. The shares will be offered at a prize of PHP7.25 per share. The company’s Board of Directors has given the green light to the delisting, it was also announced in today’s filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

A petition for a voluntary delisting is expected to be submitted on or about September 17.

Potential for Growth in the Philippines

As mentioned above, Melco, through its local subsidiaries, operates the City of Dreams Manila integrated resort in the Philippines. The property opened doors late in 2014. In its half-year report, Melco said that the Philippine market “has continued to deliver healthy and stable growth along with robust financial performance”.

The company went on to say that it expected the growth trend to continue due to the “fast-growing trajectory of Southeast Asian tourism” and the “continued upgrades in the Philippine transportation infrastructure”, among other things. Melco anticipates these to boost overnight visits from ASEAN countries to its Manila casino resort.

Aside from its domestic market – Macau – and the Philippines, Melco also plans to expand across new markets. In Asia, it is eyeing one of the three gaming licenses the Japanese government is planning to issue as part of its casino gambling legalization effort.

Melco is also venturing into Europe. In an industry-first, the gaming and hospitality giant is building a €550-million integrated resort in the Republic of Cyprus, the first property of this kind and scale not just on the tiny Mediterranean island, but also in Europe as a whole. The property is currently under development in the city of Limassol and is slated to open doors in 2021. Melco launched a temporary casino earlier this summer to serve customers, while the main resort is being built.

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