Kazuo Okada arrest order will not impact Okada Manila’s operations and backdoor listing plans, Universal Entertainment says
Universal Entertainment Corp. is positive that the recently issued order for the arrest of founder Kazuo Okada will have no impact on the operations of the Okada Manila casino resort, the Japanese gaming company said in a Monday statement.
Universal Entertainment’s comments came in the wake of reports that the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 257 ordered the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to present Mr. Okada to court. The arrest order for the Japanese pachinko tycoon was issued on Friday and was made public on Sunday.
Mr. Okada founded Universal Entertainment more than five decades ago. The company is currently wholly owned by Okada Holdings. The Japanese businessman was ousted in the summer of 2017 as Director of Universal Entertainment’s parent company over allegations that he had misappropriated millions of dollars. Lawsuits against the embattled tycoon have kept piling since then, and he has in turn been suing the people he believes have conspired to dethrone him.
In the Philippines, Universal Entertainment owns Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, the operator of the $2-plus-billion Okada Manila integrated resort. Tiger Resort has filed a lawsuit against Mr. Okada, arguing that he had defrauded the company out of $3.1 million while he was serving as CEO and board member. The Japanese businessman was ousted from the casino operator in 2017 as the scandal around him unfolded.
In December, the Philippine Department of Justice sided with Tiger Resort, saying that Mr. Okada had acquired the contested amount of money “through mistake or fraud” and should be charged. The businessman filed a motion later that month, arguing that he had obtained the money as salaries for serving as CEO of Tiger Resort and as a reward for his consultancy services to the casino company.
No Impact on Backdoor Listing Plan
In its statement from Monday, Universal Entertainment also pointed out that the ongoing legal battle between Mr. Okada and Tiger Resort would have no impact on the company’s plans to backdoor list Okada Manila through the acquisition of a listed company.
Tiger Resort has revealed plan to list its Philippine operation on the local Stock Exchange through the purchase of shares of Asiabest Group International Inc. The casino company will pay approximately PHP650 million to acquire shares in Asiabest through Tiger Resort Asia Limited.
Back in December, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission ordered Tiger Resort Asia to file a revised tender offer for Asiabest that would include information about the ongoing dispute with Mr. Okada. The order was issued after a minority Asiabest shareholder had filed a complaint with SEC, arguing that Tiger Resort Asia should have disclosed information about the legal battle with the Japanese businessman and seeking cease and desist actions.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the day’s top casino news stories.