41 Jun Fujimoto
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND PRESIDENT
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Universal founder Kazuo Okada “protégé” blamed for chairman’s ouster
• Leading corporate deliberations on fate of Okada Manila
POWER SCORE 616 LAST YEAR –
What to do with someone else’s dream? That’s the dilemma for Jun Fujimoto and colleagues at Universal Entertainment, Japan’s pachinko and gaming machine maker that owns Okada Manila, the partially finished IR named for Universal founder Kazuo Okada in the Philippine capital’s Entertainment City.
Mr Fujimoto and the family of Mr Okada were reportedly behind the boardroom coup that ousted Chairman Okada in June amid allegations he misappropriated some US$20 million in corporate funds. Okada Manila, soft opened last December, also has a legacy of actual and alleged infractions, notably bribery of government officials. The ex-chairman’s signature project requires heavy investment to complete its US$2.8 billion first phase of 1,000 rooms, 500 gaming tables and 3,000 machines surrounding the world’s largest dancing fountain that premiered in March.
On the other hand, Okada Manila would be the biggest IR in Manila Bay’s burgeoning casino hub. Already pulling 13% market share with its barebones frame, Morgan Stanley projects 2019 gaming revenue of US$1.1 billion, 32% of Manila’s IR market. The IR diversifies Universal from a gaming machine sector increasingly dominated by behemoths and boosts its credibility for a Japan IR stake, Mr Okada’s dream.
The Okada Manila decision will shape Universal’s future.
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