Duterte crony Dennis Uy has finally found a potential white knight for his Emerald Bay casino which has been in limbo since Bloomberry Resorts of ultra bilyonaryo Ricky Razon terminated its deal with debt-laden, cash-strapped PH Resorts Group Holdings (PHR).
PHR announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cebu-based property developer AppleOne Properties of bilyonaryo government contractor Ray Manigsaca to explore potential investments in the stalled development project, Emerald Bay in Mactan.
PHR said under the MoU, which is non-exclusive and non-binding, AppleOne has the option “secure either a majority equity interest in the subsidiaries or to acquire some or all of the assets related to Emerald Bay and its associated land.”
PHR said the size of the investment and the resulting percentage of ownership by AppleOne have not been finalized.
In 1995, Manigsaca, a former Sara Lee salesman, and his wife Venus formed Venray Construction, which is one of the biggest contractors of the Department of Public Works and Highways, specifically in Visayas and Mindanao.
Manigsaca said it was his wife, who used to work at the DPWH, who saw the potential of the government construction business.
The couple established AppleOne more than a decade ago to diversify into real estate development.
Their projects include the Equicom Tower in Cebu Business Park, the Banawa Heights condo, Diamond Suites Cebu and The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort.
In recent years, AppleOne has also expanded into information technology and healthcare.
Uy is hoping Manigsaca will provide fresh cash into the $330 million Emerald Bay project which started construction in 2017 and was supposed to launch as early as 2021.
This is the first time that PHR admitted that Emerald Bay construction has been suspended.
Previously, PHR merely admitted a “slowdown” in the project, citing financial challenges that could lead to downgrading the specifications of the casino-hotel.
Bloomberry backed out its term sheet to take over Uy’s Cebu and Clark casinos after nearly a year of due diligence.
In anticipation of a potential savior, PHR recently increased its authorized capital stock from P8 billion to P15 billion.
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