Kazuo Okada seeks to regain control of Manila casino operator
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Embattled Japanese pachinko king Kazuo Okada is seeking to regain control of Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc. and likewise vowed to thwart TRLEI’s efforts to become a listed company.

TRLEI, which is part of Universal Entertainment Corp., is the company behind Okada Manila, the newest casino resort in Entertainment City in Paranaque.

The company is seeking a backdoor listing via Asiabest Group International Inc. (ABG), a listed shell company.

Okada, the former chairman, insisted that he was not consulted on the matter, nor will he allow the shares of Okada Manila or his other companies be sold to the public.

“Let the public be forewarned about this,” Okada said in a statement distributed to the media by lawyer Real Balisi of Blanco & Esguerra Law Office.

ABG disclosed yesterday that a group of ABG shareholders has agreed to sell 200 million shares to TRLEI amounting to P646.5 million via a special block sale on Nov. 12. As a result, TRLEI shall then obtain two-thirds of the outstanding capital stock of ABG.

It is not clear how the case filed by its former chairman against TRLEI would impact on the planned backdoor listing.

Okada filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Parañaque on Aug. 29 against TRLEI, Tiger Resorts Asia Ltd. (TRAL) and their respective directors and officers.

In his complaint, Okada sought the nullification of his “illegal removal as a shareholder and director of TRLEI.”

He prayed for his immediate reinstatement, claiming that his “illegal ouster as shareholder, director, chairman and CEO of TRLEI is null and void ab initio, for being without authority and in violation of laws.”

Okada was removed as a director of Okada Holdings Ltd in May 2017 for alleged fraudulent activities.

Okada Holdings Ltd. is a company which Okada himself founded in 2010 and which serves as the holding company for all shares in UEC owned by the members of Okada’s family.

Okada Holdings Ltd. controls 68 percent of UEC, which through TRAL, owns TRLEI.

“These past months have been very harrowing and painful as I witnessed our family being attacked by lies and torn to pieces. My son and daughter were used against me by people whose motives were purely dictated by their desire to rob me of the fruits of my labor. These people, without any pang of guilt, ostentatiously enjoy what does not belong to them,” Okada said.

Okada Manila is the third integrated casino resort to open in Pagcor’s Entertainment City, after Enrique Razon’s Solaire Resort & Casino and Melco’s City of Dreams Manila.

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