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Robinsons Land ties up with Okada group

Posted on December 12, 2012 11:01:46 PM
GOKONGWEI-led Robinsons Land Corp. has sealed an initial deal with Okada-led Universal Entertainment Corp. that will allow the local property developer to assume stakes in Okada-controlled units in line with plans to build commercial and residential developments in Universal Entertainment’s planned integrated casino resort complex beside Manila Bay.
“The Universal Entertainment Group, one of the four franchisees of hotel casino resorts in Manila’s [Bagong Nayong Pilipino] Entertainment City, signed an initial agreement Wednesday with Robinsons Land for the development of its Manila Bay Resorts project,” Universal Entertainment said in a statement yesterday.
Neither Robinsons Land nor its parent, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., was not immediately available for confirmation.
Universal Entertainment, owned by gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada, is the parent of Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, Inc., which is currently building Manila Bay Resorts, an integrated casino resort complex that broke ground last January.
According to the statement, Robinsons Land will acquire a minority stake in Tiger Resorts, as well as a majority stake in Eagle 1 Land Holdings, Inc., owner of Tiger Resorts’ property in Entertainment City, in line with plans for the Gokongwei firm to develop “commercial and residential facilities, including a budget hotel,” at Manila Bay Resorts.
Further details of the agreement, such as the specific stakes involved, were not immediately available. The final agreement is slated for completion on Jan. 31 next year, the statement added.
Last July, Robinsons Land disclosed it was “in discussions” with Universal Entertainment for the project, but it did not offer details.
Tiger Resorts said last January that it had committed $2 billion for Manila Bay Resorts, with construction already in full swing despite Mr. Okada’s ongoing legal battle with former business partner Steve Wynn and with United States regulators.
Mr. Okada told reporters last May that Tiger Resorts had completed the land purchase for the complex and that construction of the main casino had already started.
Universal Entertainment had been linked by news reports last month to payment of millions of dollars to a former consultant of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., an allegation the Okada-controlled firm denied last week.
Shares of Robinsons Land added 85 centavos or 4.12% to P21.50 apiece yesterday while those of parent JG Summit gained P1.10 or 2.91% to P38.90. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente  
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