Universal Unit Seeks Backdoor Listing in the Philippines

Universal Entertainment’s Philippine unit, the operator of the Okada Manila, is planning a backdoor listing through the takeover of Manila-traded Asiabest Group (ABG).

Tiger Resort Asia has reached an accord with a group of shareholders to buy 200 million shares in ABG for 646.5 million pisos (about US$12 million). The transaction represents two thirds of Asiabest’s outstanding share capital and will take place through a block sale on November 12, ABG said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Subsequently, Tiger is expected to make a tender offer to buyout minority shareholders.
Neither Tiger nor Universal have issued a statement commenting on the transaction.

The announcement comes the same week as Melco Resorts & Entertainment (Philippines), operator of the City of Dreams Manila, said it planned to delist from the local exchange as its fundraising ability was not performing as expected in recent years “despite considerable efforts and expenses being incurred to maintain its listed status.”

The delisting is due to occur on or around September 17. (AGB)