Philippines' Manchester to manage Melco Crown's casino project

MANILA Sun Dec 9, 2012 9:27pm EST

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MANILA Dec 10 (Reuters) - Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd is buying a 93 percent stake in the Philippines' Manchester International Holdings Unlimited Corp, which will manage Melco's casino project in the Southeast Asian country, Manchester said on Monday.

Melco, a casino operator run by Australian billionaire James Packer and the son of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, has entered into an agreement with the Philippines' Belle Corp to develop a casino-hotel-retail complex in Manila's Entertainment City.

Belle is partly owned by the Philippines' richest man, Henry Sy.

Melco, through its Philippine units, will buy the shares from two major shareholders of Manchester, which has investments in pharmaceutical and real estate businesses. Financial details were not disclosed.

Manchester's class A shares jumped as much as 34 percent, while its class B shares rose as much as 40 percent following the announcement. The broader market, which rallied to new peaks last week, fell 0.5 percent in early trade. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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