Manila Jockey Club bares 10-years development plan

Malaya Business Insight

May 31, 2011

RACETRACK owner Manila Jockey Club Inc. (MJC) expect the next 10 years to be busy, with a long list of property to be developed at a cost of at least P15 billion.

Development will be focused on township projects in Manila and Cavite, the latter to house the company’s main business of hors racing.

The company is also eyeing the development of a vast tract of land in Occidental Mindoro, said King Reyno, MJC chief executive.

Several hotels and gaming related business boosting gaming are also in the works. These project are anchored on the race track and integrated gaming facilities at the San Lazaro Leisure and Business Park in Carmona, Cavite.

MJC is partnering anew with Ayala Land Inc. unit Avida Land for the development of a new four-tower residential project in the 16-heactare former San Lazaro Hippodrome in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, now a mixed-use development called San Lazaro Tourism and Business Park.

Reyno said MJC is likewise planning to put up a 250-room Mercure hotel in the property which will be managed by hotel management firm Accor; a two-story, 6,000 sq.m. casino that will house 500 slot machines; and a commercial area patterned after the Xintiandi district in Shanghai, China.

The 77-hectare Carmona township project will also host a 200-room hotel to be managed by Accor, with a gamming facility that can accommodate 260 slots and eight gaming tables; a five-cluster mid-rise residential condominium overlooking the race track; and a sports club that will have two soccer fields, a wake boarding area, an Olympic-size swimming pool and baseball diamond fields.

The Manila development is approaching its final phase with only 3.5 hectares of undeveloped land remaining, while the Carmona site still has 15 hectares left, according to Juan Antonio S. Gatuslao, MJC vice president for property development.

MJC is also looking at the development of a 77-hectare property in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, into a tourism and hospitality estate. It will have a 150-room hotel with sports and diving facilities, a mountain-side golf club, and a “world-class” assisted-living community to cater to foreign retires.

Reyno said development of the Mamburao property will be pursued after the completion of the Manila project. The Mamburao property may still be expanded to 230 hectares. Reyno said the company is finalizing financing, although funds for the joint ventures projects have been secured.

MJC, at the same time, said it is looking with high expectations at its partnership with a unit of broadcast station GMA Network Inc. for the expansion of betting and marketing of MJC’s horse racing game.

The deal, signed in February, has the two companies, GMA New Media Inc. (NMI) on GMA’s part, partenering for the improvement of horse race betting using cellular phones and the internet.

Reyno said the partnership calls for NMI to provide hardware and software that will enable customers to place their bets offsite, away from the established 257 off-track betting stations all over the country, through the use of a specially designed SIM card. The partnership is expected to improve daily gross bets to about P5 million.

P287.49M new shares listed

MANILA Jockey Club Inc. (MJCI) yesterday floated P287.49 million worth of fresh common shares on the stock market. The shares, valued at P1 each, where fully subscribed, with P6.2 million counted as offer-related expenses. Proceeds from the listing will be used to pay MJCI’s subscription to 107 million shares of subsidiary MJC Investment Corp. valued at P80.52 million, retire P161.56 million in short-term loans with Banco De Oro and Back of the Philippine Island, and another P39.2 million as working capital for the year. MJIC is in the middle of a 10-year development plan that had it relocating the San Lazaro Leisure Park from Manila to a 77-hectare property in Cavite, while establishing a premier township in its previous location. MJCI is the oldest racing club in Asia with its horseracing activities dating back to 1867.

Manila Jockey Club Inc. chairman Alfonso Reyno Jr. (third from left) is shown with Philippines Stock Exchange chairman Jose Pardo (second from left) at the PSE lounge in Makati City After the listing of the new shares. Joining them are MJCI executive vice president Alfonso Reyno III (extreme left) and PSE president Hans Sicat.

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