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Belle to raise P4B from rights offer

[ Malaya.com.ph ] June 15, 2011

Listed Belle Corp. expects to raise between P4 billion and P5 billion from a stock rights offering intended to finance the construction of a casino complex in the PAGCOR City project on the reclaimed area of Manila Bay.

Jason C. Nalupta, Belle corporate information officer, said BDO Capital and Investments Corp. has been tapped to underwrite the offer. The terms, including rights ratio and pricing, will be announced later.

Willy Ocier, Belle vice-chairman, said the offer is supported by "all major stockholders."

This means the company has secured assurance of additional investments from major shareholders like the Sy family, which owns a 39.76 percent stake via Sysmart Corp., SM Commercial Corp., and SM Development Corp.

Other major shareholders are the Social Security System with 7.5 percent and an investor who votes through Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. with 12.35 percent.

Belle recently awarded the contract for the construction of the casino complex to be called Belle Grande Manila Bay.

Belle has committed to invest as much as $1 billion in the project, which will be composed of six hotel towers, and a gaming area.

Belle Grande Manila Bay will have between 15,000 and 20,000 square meters of gaming space with a capacity to hold 1,600 slot machines and 300-320 tables.

It will also have 6,000 sq. m. of VIP gaming area and six hotel towers with 1,000 rooms, divided into three brands.

Belle has tapped local online gaming operator Leisure and Resorts World Corp. to be the gaming side’s operator.

Belle Grande Manila Bay expects to have a soft launch by early next year, with full operation seen by end-2012 or early 2013.

Belle will operate the business through unit Premium Leisure and Amusement Inc.
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