Lopez group not pursuing talks with Okada

Posted at 08/03/12 4:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Lopez group, which recently regained control of Rockwell Land, says it may no longer pursue talks with Japanese casino magnate Kazuo Okada for the latter's casino-resort complex in PAGCOR City.

Rockwell executives say Okada invited the Lopezes early in the year for exploratory talks.

Ambassador Manuel Lopez tells ANC the Lopez group does not have plans of reviving the talks, and venturing into the gaming business is not yet on the horizon.

The Japanese billionaire inked an agreement last month with Andrew Tan's Empire East to jointly develop the residential component of Okada's strip in PAGCOR City.  Both Okada and Tan are PAGCOR licensees.

"We have no plans right now. We'll see what happens, but right now I understand Okada has already entered into an agreement with other groups," Lopez said.

"We have our other priorities. We want to pursue that before diversifying into a totally different venture. We decided it's not in our best interest at that time. So, we'll see what happens," he added.

Meanwhile, Rockwell Land reported its sales take up rose 70% to P4.1 billion in the first six months of the year, on strong demand for its projects The Grove by Rockwell in Ortigas and 205 Santolan by Rockwell in Quezon City.

Rockwell Land is also set to launch another luxury project "The Proscenium", a mixed-use development with 5 residential towers and a performing arts theater located on a property adjacent to Rockwell Center.

The company is alos planning to launch 2 more projects in Quezon City aimed at a broader market segment.

In the first half of the year, Rockwell posted a net income of P439.7 million, 12% up from last year's P394.3 million. The company generated total revenues of P2.5 billion in the first six months of the year.

Last May 11, Rockwell listed by way of introduction in the Philippine Stock Exchange. - With report from Lois Calderon, ANC