Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 12am







    Tuesday, September 17, 2019-8:43:33A.M.






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IPI’s purchase of Sinopan stake ‘good and bad,’ says lawmaker

THERE is something “good and bad” about Imperial Pacific International’s purchase of a 50 percent stake in American Sinopan, Vice Speaker Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero said.

“The good thing about it is that sharing resources may move both resort projects forward,” he added in an interview on Thursday. “But the question is, do they [IPI] really have resources?”

Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero

Deleon Guerrero also expressed doubt if IPI’s $500 million loan from a Japanese firm will immediately materialize.

With the 50 percent buyout, moreover, IPI may include the rooms Sinopan is building as part of its casino-resort project, he added.

Deleon Guerrero said he doesn’t approve of the constant changes made to the casino lease agreement.

Two months ago, the Lottery Commission approved IPI’s request to include the rooms to be built by its partners in the 2,000-room count requirement under the casino law. It was the eighth amendment to the lease agreement since 2014.

An Inside Asian Gaming online news story reported that IPI acquired a 50 percent stake in American Sinopan LLC, a Hong Kong-owned company currently developing two parcels of land on Saipan.

The acquisition comes just 24 hours after IPI Chairman and Executive Director Cui Li Jie offloaded 9.79 percent of the company’s stocks in order “to raise funds for the development of its troubled integrated resort, Imperial Palace Saipan,” Inside Asian Gaming reported.

American Sinopan has leased two pieces of land on Saipan with a total land area of 129,687 square meters.

In an overnight filing, IPI said it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with First Sinopan International Limited to acquire a 50 percent equity interest for $23.7 million.

The first American Sinopan project is for 12 villas and a three-story clubhouse on Capitol Hill while the second is planned for a new resort hotel with more than 1,700 rooms.

American Sinopan earlier announced plans to develop a garden-themed hotel in Saipan, possibly including the Hilton brand.

IPI said the construction work on this new hotel project has already begun.

However, much like IPI itself, American Sinopan is also having problems finding workers.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has rejected its application to bring in 620 foreign workers on a 12-month H2-B visas.