PANAMA, REPUBLIC OF PANAMA--(Marketwire - Aug. 10, 2011) - Thunderbird Resorts Inc. ("Thunderbird" or "Group") (FRANKFURT:4TR)(EURONEXT:TBIRD) is pleased to announce that its Philippine operations have entered into final agreements to raise up to $52 million in equity from Solar Entertainment Corporation ("Solar"). Solar is a Philippine media corporation that owns and operates 6 cable channels, 3 free TV channels and a film distribution company in the Philippines. The Group is pleased to partner with Solar and believes Solar's success in the entertainment sector is synergistic and will lead to growth opportunities for the Group's Philippine operations.
The agreements executed are subject to a number of conditions to closing, including Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation ("PAGCOR") and other regulatory approvals. There are no assurances that the approvals will be granted. If the transaction receives regulatory approval, Solar (or its Philippine affiliate assignee) will invest into a newly-formed Philippine holding company ("HoldCo") to which the Group and one other Filipino shareholder, will assign all of their respective Philippine operations. Solar will initially fund $25 million to receive a 32.47% stake in HoldCo, and this initial funding will primarily be used by HoldCo to meet closing conditions and to expand our existing properties at Poro Point and Rizal and to pay down some Philippines-related debt, which should have a positive impact on the Group's balance sheet. Solar will have a 12-month option from closing to fund an additional $27 million to complete the purchase of up to 50% of HoldCo. The use of proceeds for the $27 million will be allocated for investment into new properties. Upon completion of funding, Thunderbird and its one other Filipino partner will own the remaining 50% of HoldCo.
The transaction with Solar requires that Thunderbird and another Filipino shareholder consolidate their Philippine assets into HoldCo, including shares of two existing operating companies, various real estate companies and development companies whose assets are separate from our existing two operating hotels and casinos. The transaction also requires Thunderbird to continue to manage the hotels and casino under its brand hotel and casino names.
The Group entered the Philippines market in 2005 and it now owns interests in, and operates, two casinos with approximately 738 slot machines and 379 table positions, as well as two hotels and a nine-hole golf course. We plan to expand our facilities for each property and the closing of this transaction with Solar will enable us to do so in a way that optimizes our balance sheet and cash flow. In addition to these projects, we believe that with Solar as our partner the Group will be able to develop new opportunities in the country.
The Group previously announced that its affiliates in the Philippines, Eastbay Resorts, Inc. ("ERI") and Thunderbird Pilipinas Hotels and Resorts, Inc. ("TPHR") filed lawsuits in June 2011 against PAGCOR seeking enforcement of its prior agreements with PAGCOR. On 23 June 2011, the Philippine Regional Trial Court issued a "Writ of Preliminary Prohibitory Injunction" directing PAGCOR to cease and desist from initiating and completing cessation or other similar proceedings against TPHR's and ERI's business operations. The legal process continues.
JULY 2011 REVENUE REPORT
The Group reports the following revenues for July 2011:
|Thunderbird Resorts Inc. – Group-wide sales results by country (unaudited, in thousands)||July 2011||July 2010||Year-over-year
|Costa Rica (1)||2,425||1,818||33.4%|
|Peru Gaming (3)||2,222||2,136||4.0%|
|Peru Hotel (4)||1,040||621||67.5%|
|Total Consolidated Revenues||11,550||10,102||14.3%|
BOARD APPROVAL TO ISSUE SHARES TO PAY DOWN DEBT
The Group is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors recently approved the issuance of up to 900,000 or approximately 4% of the outstanding shares of the Company. The purpose is to enhance the Company's balance sheet and cash flow (a goal for 2011 stated in our 2010 Annual Report) by selling shares directly to third parties and/or issuing them into Treasury to be sold by the Group at regulatory allowed periods. The term for the Board's authorization on the issuance of these shares is 12 months beginning 9 July 2011. To date, the Company under this authorization has issued approximately 345,000 shares to third parties at prices of not less than 90% of the 30-day or 15-day average weighted market price.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
We are an international provider of branded casino and hospitality services, focused on markets in Central America, South America, Southeast Asia, and India. Our mission is to "create extraordinary experiences for our guests." Additional information about the Group is available on its World Wide Web site at www.thunderbirdresorts.com.
Cautionary Notice: This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the securities laws and regulations of various international, federal, and state jurisdictions. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential revenue and future plans and objectives of the Group are forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties. There can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Group's forward-looking statements include competitive pressures, unfavorable changes in regulatory structures, and general risks associated with business, all of which are disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Group's documents filed from time-to-time with the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam and other regulatory authorities.