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Belle finalizes deal with Melco

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on Oct. 26, 2012 at 12:01am |
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Belle Corp. said Thursday it finalized an agreement with Hong Kong-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. to jointly develop a $1.3-billion casino and entertainment complex in Entertainment City.

Belle said in a disclosure to the stock exchange both parties would be co-licensees and owner of the complex under the agreement. The two companies will also make equal investments in the project.

Melco said in a separate disclosure to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange its investment in the project was expected to reach $600 million up to the opening of the complex.

Both companies actually committed to contribute $650 million each as initial investment.

Belle, controlled by retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr., will contribute the land and the building structures worth $325 million. Melco agreed to contribute furnitures, gaming equipment, additional improvements, inventory and supplies as well as intangible properties and entertainment facilities costing not less than $325 million.

Both parties agreed to split the remaining $350 million in investment commitment.

Melco, led by Australian billionaire James Packer and Macau gambling tycoon Lawrence Ho, is also expected to bring the expertise and experience in running a world-class casino to the Belle project, giving them a strong competitive edge.

Melco is a developer and owner of integrated resort facilities focused on the Macau market. Its operating complex known as the “City of Dreams” is a highly successful project that houses a gaming facility, a Crown Hotel, a Grand Hyatt Hotel, a Hard Rock Hotel and an upscale retail operation, along with a mix of bars and restaurants that are drawing crowds mainly from Hong Kong and China.

It is building a second integrated resort in Macau called Studio City.

“We are very happy to welcome MCE into the Philippines. We could not have found a better partner for this endeavor. We are confident that MCE will bring its expertise in operating a highly successful integrated resort complex and strongly contribute to promoting the Philippines as one of the Asia’s premiere tourism destination,” Belle vice chairman Willy Ocier said.

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