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Manchester shareholders snub offer

Minority shareholders of Manchester International Holdings Unlimited Corp. snubbed the offer of Macau-based casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. to buy out their shares. Melco-owned units MCE (Philippines) Investments Ltd. and MCE (Philippines) Investments No.2 Corp. said no shares were tendered after the offer period expired on Feb. 11, 2013. Melco offered to acquire all the remaining 17.426 million Class A and 11.156 million Class B shares held by the public, which comprised 6.94 percent of the total outstanding capital stock of Manchester at tender price of P3.1491 per Class A share and P3.5498 per Class B share. The offer price is significantly lower than the current market price of the Manchester, which is trading at P16 per Class A share and P17 per Class B share. Analysts said minority shareholders held on to their shares because of the positive prospect of the company with the entry of the Melco group. The tender offer was mandatory after the Melco group last year acquired 93.06-percent interest in Manchester by purchasing 255.270 million Class A and 128.211 million Class B shares owned by Interpharma Holdings and Management Corp. and Pharma Industries Holdings Ltd. Melco group earlier said it intended to manage and operate its Philippine businesses through Manchester. Its Philippine operations include a $1-billion Belle Grande Manila, which is integrated resort and entertainment project composed of a casino, hotel, retail, and entertainment complex within the Pagcor Entertainment City. The development of Belle Grande Manila is a joint venture with Sy-led Belle Corp. The casino development is slated for opening by mid 2014. Shareholders of Manchester early this week approved an equity offering of one billion shares. At current market price of P16 per share, the planned equity offering could generate as much as P16 billion in proceeds. Shareholders of Manchester also approved the change in the company’s corporate name to Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp.
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