Okada Manila Owner Folds on Acquiring Stalled Emerald Bay in Philippines’ Cebu

The parent company of Okada Manila in the Philippines’ Entertainment City revealed today it will no longer pursue acquiring the stalled project in Cebu called Emerald Bay.

Okada Manila Philippines Emerald Bay
PH Resorts’ Emerald Bay remains unfinished on Mactan Island in the Philippines. The casino resort lost a buyer this week with Okada Manila’s parent organization bowing out of the takeover talks. (Image: PH Resorts)

In a statement from Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI), the company explained that it has informed PH Resorts Group that it’s terminating its plans to acquire the Cebu integrated resort. TRLEI reps said the tentative takeover agreement reached in December is formally off the table.

On July 1, 2024, TRLEI notified PH Resorts of the termination of the Term Sheet as certain Closing Conditions under the Term Sheet are not or cannot be fulfilled. Due to confidentiality obligations, the Company does not provide specific details of this matter,” the TRLEI release read.

When TRLEI reached the December 2023 deal to acquire the partially finished integrated resort, the company said it would bring it to completion by 2026. The resort is to feature two 15-story hotel towers with 642 guestrooms, 18 bars and restaurants, retail shopping, conference space, and a casino floor with 700 slot machines and 140 live dealer table games.

Not the First Time Emerald Bay Lost a Buyer

Emerald Bay was first floated by PH Resorts, a subsidiary of the Udenna Corporation, in 2017. Udenna is the conglomerate of Philippines businessman Dennis Uy.

Uy, worth an estimated $440 million by Forbes, inherited his father’s oil and gas company Phoenix Petroleum. He used his family’s riches to establish Udenna in 2002. The firm has investments in lubricants, shipping and logistics, construction, hospitality, and gaming.

Udenna’s resort arm, PH Resorts, has just one property. The Donatela Resort & Sanctuary is located on Bohol Island and offers 12 villas.

Uy envisioned Emerald Bay as PH Resorts’ flagship development and “the crown jewel of Philippines resorts.” More than six years after announcing the project, Emerald Bay sits unfinished on its six-acre prime beachfront lot in Cebu’s Punta Engano.

TRLEI isn’t the first company to pull out of takeover talks of Emerald Bay. In March 2023, Bloomberry Resorts, which owns and operates Solaire in Manila’s Entertainment City, rescinded its plans to acquire Emerald Bay.

Bloomberry was also vague in its decision to fold on the Cebu resort.

“The Company has decided to terminate the Term Sheet … after considering the results of due diligence,” a Bloomberry investor notice read.

Emerald Future Unknown

It’s unclear whether Uy and PH Resorts will move forward in completing Emerald Bay. PH reported an annual operating loss of PHP1.81 billion (US$31 million) last year.

A publicly traded company on the Philippine Stock Exchange, PH Resorts officials said during the company’s earnings call earlier this year that the firm is amid a fundraising initiative. But the executives conceded that PH is facing “material uncertainty” that casts doubt on its ability to raise capital either through stock sales or financial loans.

PH’s primary lender since its inception has been China Banking Group. China’s six state-owned banks in April were downgraded by Fitch Ratings.

Fitch reasoned that China’s slowing economy could result in the banks not being as financially supported by Beijing as they have been in the past.

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