South Korea – Bloomberry to take Soliare brand to Jeju IslandBy Phil - 18 March 2015
Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts has confirmed it is buying a South Korean casino hotel operator as well as an entire island and island properties in its first move overseas.
It will purchase 92 per cent of Golden and Luxury, who co-owns T.H.E. Hotel and Vegas Casino in the southern island of Jeju.
The Bloomberry subsidiary involved in the deal is called Solaire Korea suggesting the Solaire brand will be exported from the Philippines to South Korea. Solaire Korea has also signed a deal to buy the 20.96 hectares Silmi Island located in the Incheon Free Economic Zone west of Seoul. It is the second island to be bought by Bloomberry. The Silmi Island deal will increase Solaire’s land in Korea to 33.16 hectares.
Bloomberry Chairman and Chief Executive Enrique Razon said: “We are excited at the prospect of Solaire setting up a base in Korea and of introducing the Solaire brand of integrated resorts to the country. We are now slightly shifting our focus to other destinations. Although this will happen in the next few years, it is good business to start prospecting, and Korea is a likely choice because of its positive investment climate. Solaire is on a trajectory of growth and we are now slightly shifting our focus to other destinations. This is our first venture outside of the Philippines, and the possibilities for expansion in this country are promising.”
Luis Limlingan, Analyst at Regina Capital Development Corp in Manila, said: “Having more presence outside the Philippines would bode well for the company. They can tap more Koreans, Chinese and Japanese.”
Jeju Island attracted 2.3m foreign tourists last year, of which 1.8m were from China. Chinese visitors are expected to grow to 5.3m this year. The island has been the focus of much casino activity in recent months.
Genting Hong Kong recently opened its first casino on the South Korean island of Jeju. Located at the Hyatt Regency Jeju Hotel, the new Genting Jeju Casino is a joint venture between Genting and Landing International Development, each of which holds a 50 per cent stake in the venture. The casino in the Hyatt Regency is one of eight gaming licenses in Jeju under the Tourism Promotion Act. Genting also plans to open the $2.2bn Resorts World Jeju, a project where it is also teaming up with Landing.