PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc, which is overseeing the stalled Emerald Bay Resort casino project in Mactan, Cebu, has officially terminated its term sheet with Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc (TRLEI). The cessation of this agreement, disclosed in a Tuesday filing, indicates that TRLEI will no longer invest in the project.

TRLEI withdraws from Emerald Bay deal:

TRLEI, Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp subsidiary, manages the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippines’ capital. Dennis Uy, a well-known Philippine entrepreneur, leads PH Resorts.

Raymundo Escalona, the president of PH Resorts, was quoted in the Tuesday announcement to the Philippine Stock Exchange: “We understand that the Okada Manila operator no longer intends to pursue the Emerald Bay acquisition. Nevertheless, this development shall give PH Resorts the opportunity to engage with other parties which have already expressed their keen interest in the Emerald Bay Project, but have been unable to formalise [such interest] due to the restrictions under the TRLEI deal.”

According to GGRAsia, Escalona added: “We assure our shareholders and stakeholders, however, that the company’s management is already working towards another transaction, be it an acquisition, joint venture, or otherwise, that will ensure the completion of the Emerald Bay project.”

The filing emphasized that PH Resorts would provide the public with necessary updates on any further developments.

Universal Entertainment issued a statement on Monday confirming that TRLEI had notified PH Resorts about terminating the term sheet due to certain closing conditions not being met. The Japanese company stated, “Due to confidentiality obligations, the company does not provide specific details of this matter.”

In a late June filing, PH Resorts had responded to a Philippine media story about the talks with TRLEI, stating that “The report that there is a disagreement on commercial terms as there are ‘unrealistic terms’ set by the selling party is largely unfounded and not even part of the current discussions between the relevant parties.”

Universal Entertainment’s Monday update recounted that TRLEI had signed a preliminary agreement on December 8 to acquire the Emerald Bay resort project. The term sheet was with PH Resorts’ subsidiary, PH Travel and Leisure Holdings Corp, and aimed at obtaining a significant majority ownership in PH Travel subsidiaries Lapulapu Leisure Inc. and Lapulapu Land Corp, behind the Emerald Bay scheme.

Financial transactions and plans:

In April, PH Resorts disclosed that one of its subsidiaries had received an initial non-refundable payment of PHP300.1 million (US$5.2 million) towards the cost of a stock subscription, intending for TRLEI to gain majority ownership in Emerald Bay’s operational interests. According to Universal Entertainment’s latest update, a final agreement was to have been signed this month.

PH Resorts obtained a provisional gaming license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) in 2017. Bloomberry Resorts Corp. also discussed possibly investing in PH Resorts’ casino schemes, but these discussions ended without a deal.

This marks the second instance in which a major Manila integrated resort operator’s deal to acquire Emerald Bay from PH Resorts has fallen through. Earlier, Bloomberry Resorts Corp, the owner of Solaire, terminated a deal under similar circumstances in early 2023.

Last week, PH Resorts denied media reports that the TRLEI deal was on the verge of collapse due to “unrealistic terms” set by the selling party. Reports suggested that Dennis Uy sought a premium for his remaining stake in the project and repurchase rights, terms that TRLEI was unwilling to meet.

As Inside Asian Gaming reports, the future of the Emerald Bay project remains uncertain. The development was envisioned to become Cebu’s second integrated resort after NUSTAR, with plans for a five-star hotel featuring two 15-story towers, 642 rooms, four pools, 18 food and beverage outlets, retail spaces, conference and exhibition facilities, and a large-scale gaming floor with more than 700 electronic gaming machines and over 140 tables.