Imperial Pacific International (IPI) has been ordered to appoint a new CEO by 10 July by the CNMI’s Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC).
The order was one of three issued by the CCC this week, the others being to meet its financial obligations to both private vendors and the CNMI government, and to ensure it has money put aside to cover three months’ payroll at all times.
According to Marianas Variety, the CEO order is in response to IPI’s “continuous failure” to appoint a new CEO since the departure of Mark Brown – for the second time in as many years – in December.
“We continuously pressed upon them that it is an utmost urgency that IPI appoint a CEO even at an interim basis or acting capacity,” said CCC Chairman Edward C. Deleon Guerrero. “We have reached the point now where we have no other options except to issue the order.”
IPI announced earlier this week that it had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a company called Zhongfeng International Investment Holdings Group Co Limited to subscribe for HK$50 million (US$6.5 million) of convertible bonds.
The MoU comes at a time when IPI finds itself facing multiple court cases over alleged unpaid fees – most notably to its former contractor Pacific Rim which is chasing US$6.8 million for breach of contract and breach of a promissory note following a recent federal court ruling in its favor.
A handful of other vendors have also entered complaints over alleged failures to pay for services.
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming, IPI recently warned that it may have to permanently close its Saipan casino, Imperial Palace‧Saipan, pending enforcement of the Pacific Rim ruling which IPI said at the time it was unable to pay.
However, such actions may be taken out of IPI’s hands with the CCC also threatening to suspend the company’s casino license due to its failure to pay US$37 million into a community benefit fund as per its Casino License Agreement.
IPI’s precarious financial state has become increasingly apparent in recent weeks, leading to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp cutting off power to both Imperial Palace‧Saipan and the company’s head office for failure to pay its bills.