P23 billion leisure estate: Dodo Mandanas’ Abacore finds obscure partner to develop its Batangas mountain top resort

Diversified investment firm Abacore Capital Holdings (ABA) led by Batangas Governor Dodo Mandanas has found a little-known company to develop its Monte Maria resort in Batangas.

In a disclosure released a day after the signing of a memorandum of agreement on November 23, ABA said its new partner, Highsource Prime Building, has agreed to invest up to $400 million (P23.8 billion) to develop its Pagkilatan, Batangas property into a tourism estate with a four-star hotel, a land and water amusement park, 3D Glass Paradise, and residential and commercial facilities.

ABA, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Philippine Regional Investment Development (PRIDE), will contribute its P1.6 billion, 17-hectare mountain top land property overlooking Batangas Bay and the Verde Island passage for a 40 percent stake in the joint venture with Highsource.

Highsource will invest up to P2.6 billion pesos in cash and development for the first phase – with increasing share in the joint venture as it reaches certain milestones.

PRIDE will inject another 20 hectares of its mountain top land in the second phase of the project with Highsource chipping in the proportionate amount in cash or development.

Curiously, PRIDE said it expects to benefit if Highsource fails to develop the property as scheduled.

“Considering the quick appreciation of property values in Batangas, especially for tourism-oriented land near the beach front or along the shore, both parties have agreed that any delay in development will allow PRIDE to have its land reappraised to updated market values and adjust higher the actual value of its land contribution to the joint venture which could increase its share in the joint venture,” said ABA.

Mandanas is the husband of former ABA president Regina Reyes Mandanas who passed away last May.

ABA was the second most traded and the seventh biggest gainer with a 6.8 percent increase to P2.04 on November 24.

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