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Belle firms up P4.52-billion stock rights offering

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated July 14, 2011 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Leisure developer and gaming firm Belle Corp. has firmed up the details of its planned rights offering to raise around P4.52 billion, to be used mainly for the construction of a $750-million integrated gaming resort complex along Roxas Boulevard.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Belle said it is offering a total of 1.51 billion new common shares at P3 apiece, a 64 percent discount to its closing price of P4.91 yesterday.

Shareholders can purchase one new common share for every six common shares held as of a record date yet to be determined by the company.

Belle has appointed BDO Capital & Investment Corp. as underwriter for the rights offering while Deutsche Bank AG has been tapped as international financial advisor.

The majority shareholders of the company have committed to subscribe not just to their own respective entitlements of rights shares but also to any rights shares that will not otherwise be taken up by other qualified shareholders.

The controlling shareholders have likewise agreed to a 180-day voluntary lock-up on their respective shareholdings effective from the listing date of the rights shares.

Moreover, Belle said it does not expect to be undertaking other equity-raising activities within 180 days from the commencement date of the offering.

Proceeds from the rights issue will be used to bankroll the ongoing construction of Belle Grande Manila Bay, a resort complex featuring casino and hotel facilities as well as a state-of-the-art theater complex, targeted for opening in the second half of 2012.

Belle vice chairman Willy Ocier said proceeds from the rights offer, together with the P5.6-billion in loan facility from Banco de Oro, would be enough to fund the construction of the initial phase of the project.

Belle Grande Manila Bay will have a total gaming area of 19,626 square meters, of which more than 6,000 sqm are reserved for VIPs, offering 350 gaming tables and 1,900 slot machines.

The hotel component will comprise six towers with approximately 1,000 rooms, of which 86 will be luxury suites, scheduled for opening by the fourth quarter of 2013.

One of the towers will be an all-suites hotel aimed at the VIP market and junket gaming customers, while another will be a four-or five-star hotel targeted at the mass market gaming customers with 159 rooms.

The remaining four towers will comprise condotel towers with a total of 466 units, which can be sold to investors and placed in a pool to be managed by the company/hotel operator. Buyers can avail of eight-10 free nights at the resort in addition to a share of the rentals received.

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