Suntrust Home Developers Inc, a Philippine company invested in the Westside City Project’s casino hotel in Manila, said in a Friday filing that it has decided to sell its remaining interest in a real estate firm in order to concentrate on the latest gaming plan.
Listed in Hong Kong Suntrust is indirectly owned by Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, which holds 51 percent of the stock. Macau casino junket chief Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the head of Macau VIP brand Suncity, manages Suncity Group Holdings.
Suntrust said in its filing that it has decided to sell its 24.27 percent interest in First Oceanic Property Management Inc for PHP153.7 million (US$3.2 million). According to corporate records, First Oceanic’s primary business is the management of real estate assets in the Philippines.
The transaction helps Suntrust to “dispose of its non-core business and focus and deploy its resources to its principal businesses,” according to Suntrust, since the business of First Oceanic and its subsidiaries “is entirely unrelated to the casino and entertainment market of the Philippines.”
Suncity Group Holdings said in a separate filing that the net selling proceeds would be used “as general working capital and to partly fund the development” of the casino hotel being built by Suntrust.
Asian E-Commerce Inc, which already owns 75.73 percent of First Oceanic, is the buyer. Megaworld Corp, a Philippine-listed corporation that currently owns a 34 percent stake in Suntrust, owns 50 percent of Asian E-Commerce.
Suntrust’s primary purpose shifted from real estate growth to “tourism-related businesses” in June of last year, which includes building and running hotels, resorts, entertainment centres, and other leisure facilities, among other things.
According to Suncity Group Holdings, the casino hotel’s overall “construction and development” expense would be about $1 billion. It was also reported that the project will “commence operation” in 2023.