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Archive for February 17th, 2019

Philippine National Bank Extends Loan for Second Solaire Casino Resort

The Philippine National Bank has become one of the lenders supporting Bloomberry in its bid to build a second Solaire casino resort

The Philippine National Bank (PNB) has extended a PHP11.5 billion (approx. $219.7 million) loan to gambling and hospitality company Bloomberry Resorts Corp., local newspaper The Philippine Star reports. Bloomberry will use the loan to partially fund the construction of its second Solaire-branded casino resort.

News about PNB extending a loan to the Philippine hotel and casino operator emerge shortly after Bloomberry confirmed that it has secured a PHP40 billion loan (approx. $767 million) to fund the development of an integrated resort in Quezon City. The property will be the first of its kind in the Northern Metro Manila region.

Bloomberry currently operates Solaire Resort & Casino. The $1.2 billion hotel and casino resort swung its doors open in 2013. It was the first of four integrated resorts approved to be developed within Entertainment City, a larger development project in the capital Manila spearheaded by the Philippine government that aims to enhance the nation’s tourism product and increase international visits.

Bloomberry is now looking to expand the Solaire brand with a casino resort in Quezon City. PNB revealed that it has signed an omnibus loan and security agreement with the company’s subsidiaries Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc. and Sureste Properties Inc. The bank will thus co-finance 28.7% of the total allocation for the previously announced PHP40 billion loan syndication.

Construction Begins Later This Year

Now, as Bloomberry has secured financing for its new property, it will be looking to commence construction by mid-2019. The company targets 2022 opening of the hotel, casino, and entertainment complex.

The resort will be developed at Vertis North Complex in Quezon City. Bloomberry bought the site where the property will be located from the Philippine National Housing Authority in 2015. The new Solaire complex will cater to the mass market and will include a hotel, a casino floor, food and beverage as well as entertainment facilities.

Bloomberry has said previously that it would construct a high-rise building as the portion of land it purchased does not allow for a sprawling complex.

Commenting on PNB extending a loan to Bloomberry to build its new resort, the bank’s President and CEO, Jose Arnulfo Veloso, said that they are proud to be part of the scheme as it would be “a big boost to the country’s tourism business.” The executive went on that the new property would give rise to more revenues for Quezon City as well as “new job opportunities and improved personal income for employees”, which will translate “to a more robust economy” for the city and the Philippines, as a whole.

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The post Philippine National Bank Extends Loan for Second Solaire Casino Resort appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Tilman Fertitta Still Interested in Caesars Merger, Buys Stock in the Casino Giant

Billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta has bought a stake in gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment Corp., Bloomberg reports citing people familiar with the matter

News about Mr. Fertitta buying Caesars shares arrived a few months after the real estate mogul made an offer to purchase the company and step in as its leader.

The businessman bought about 4 million shares in the hotel and casino operator, which represents less than 1% of the company’s total. Sources told Bloomberg that Mr. Fertitta believes Caesars is undervalued and that he is still interested in merging his own empire with the Las Vegas gambling powerhouse.

Caesars is still fighting the consequences of a $30.7-billion leveraged buyout gone incredibly wrong. In 2015, the gaming and hospitality operator put its main operating unit in bankruptcy. It emerged from lengthy and complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the fall of 2017 and is now looking to pay down a $9 billion debt, while competing for a bigger market share.

Mr. Fertitta, whose personal fortune stands at around $4.7 billion (Forbes, February 2019), is the sole owner of the Golden Nugget chain of casinos as well as of restaurant and entertainment company Landry’s. A Texas native, the businessman also purchased the Houston Rockets in 2017.

News emerged last fall that Mr. Fertitta approached Caesars with an offer to merge his gaming and entertainment business with that of the Las Vegas gambling giant. The businessman proposed that Caesars acquire his entities in exchange for a controlling stake. Mr. Fertitta reportedly offered to take up the reins of the combined business. Caesars rejected that offer, but as mentioned earlier, sources believe the real estate mogul is still interested in consolidating his business with that of the much larger gambling and hospitality operator. Caesars currently manages around 50 gaming and non-gaming properties in 13 states and five countries and eyes further geographical expansion.

Carl Icahn Presses for Sale

In a separate round of news from the past several days, it emerged that Carl Icahn, the New York activist investor, has built a 10% stake in Caesars over the past several months and is pushing for the company’s sale.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week citing people familiar with the situation that Mr. Icahn believes Caesars has “desirable properties and that the outlook for Las Vegas is positive.” It also seems that the businessman investor thinks the gaming and hospitality company would perform better with “a rival” at its helm.

Mr. Icahn is the former owner of Trump Taj Mahal, which now operates as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, as well as of a number of gaming properties in Las Vegas, including the Stratosphere.

The New York activist investor has not been the only Caesars shareholder to be pressing for the company’s sale. It surfaced last year that hedge fund HG Vora had quietly amassed a stake in the casino and hospitality operator to push for its sale or at least divestment of some of its assets.

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The post Tilman Fertitta Still Interested in Caesars Merger, Buys Stock in the Casino Giant appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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