08 October 2010

Japanese developer may take over yacht club

ORIENT Pearl Entertainment and Management, Inc., a Japanese gaming company, is set to revive the Subic Bay Yacht Club into a “mini-Monaco” to increase membership and revenues.

Orient Pearl is said to have reached an agreement to initially acquire 25% of the club with lead creditor Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), as a way to obtain management control.

Landbank heads a consortium of local banks that foreclosed 40% of the club led by the Triple-V group, when debt-bankrolled construction floundered during the regional financial crisis.

Orient Pearl Chairman Toshio Shimada, who already operates six casino-hotels in the country including the Majestic Networld Hotel on Roxas Boulevard in Manila, will add gaming as part of development plans for the Subic Bay Yacht Club.

However, the planned inclusion of gaming facilities is expected to be opposed by some club members.

It would be recalled that creditor banks of Triple-V had decided to take over the club shares pledged by restaurateur Victor “Vic-Vic” Villavicencio as collateral for P1 billion in loans from various financial institutions.

The P2-billion club was built in 1996 to become the premier yacht club in the Philippines. The facility has a huge swimming pool with imported sand from Australia.

The huge main clubhouse stands over 17,000 square meters of space with 39 guest club rooms. (R. Garcia, BusinessWorld)