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Belle sells casino licence stakeholder for US$250 mln

CODBelle Corp said it has sold for approximately PHP10.85 billion (US$250.6 million) in cash its equity interest in a firm that jointly holds the casino licence for the City of Dreams Manila gaming resort (pictured in a rendering).

Belle said on Wednesday in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange that a deed of sale had been executed covering the sale by Belle to Sinophil Corp of all its 100 percent equity interest in Premium Leisure and Amusement Corp. The deal had been announced last month.

The latter is part of the consortium that holds a casino licence from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) the country’s regulator-cum-operator, for City of Dreams Manila.

The casino resort, expected to open later this year, will be operated by Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp and located in Pagcor’s Entertainment City zone at Manila Bay.

The latest deal is for Belle to sell 50,000 common shares in Premium Leisure and Amusement Corp at a price of PHP216,956.40 per share to Sinophil, which Belle majority-owns, holding 50.522 percent of the outstanding capital.

It is part of a strategy to allow the Belle entity “to focus, primarily, on real estate development and other allied businesses,” said Belle.

Spinning off Belle’s gaming assets into a separate unit also provides an opportunity to offer public investors exposure to the assets, Belle and Sinophil have said separately in filings.

Sinophil chairman Willy Ocier – also the vice chairman of Belle – on Monday confirmed to GGRAsia that Sinophil was considering widening its public ownership ahead of the opening of the City of Dreams Manila.

Belle Corp announced on June 2 it would reorganise its gaming assets under Sinophil, a separate Philippines-listed entity.

Belle also confirmed on Wednesday it had sold its 34.5 percent of online lottery system provider Pacific Online Systems Corp to Sinophil.

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