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Belle moves lottery systems stake to Sinophil

Sinophil Corp – the Philippines firm earmarked to hold Manila casino investor Belle Corp’s gaming holdings – has acquired Belle’s 34.5 percent stake in Pacific Online Systems Corp, known as LOTO.

Pasig City-based LOTO is engaged in the development, design and management of online computer systems, terminals and software for the Philippine gaming industry. It brokers technology from global suppliers of gaming systems and leases to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (draw forms pictured) the equipment needed for its online lottery operations in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

“The decision to make Sinophil take on the gaming business of Belle Group turns a long-time practically dormant holding company into a potentially significant player in what appears to be a very vibrant and profitable Philippine gaming industry,” said Sinophil in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

“The transformation of Sinophil benefits not only the principal shareholders, but the minority/independent shareholders as well,” added the document.

Sinophil chairman Willy Ocier – also the vice chairman of Belle – on Monday confirmed to GGRAsia that the company was considering widening its public ownership ahead of the opening of the City of Dreams Manila casino resort, which is expected later this year.

The transfer of the LOTO shares from Belle to Sinophil will be executed through the facilities of the exchange through a special block sale.

It involved 101,668,953 shares of common stock priced at PHP15 (US$0.35) per share, and a cash consideration of PHP1.53 billion. Belle itself is the majority shareholder of Sinophil, holding 50.4 percent.

On Tuesday, Belle confirmed in a filing it has had preliminary discussions with owners of land near the City of Dreams Manila site, eyeing a potential expansion of the casino resort. The company is partnering with Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp to develop the property, with the first phase opening expected later this year

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