A 2022 court order that led to a forced takeover of Philippines integrated resort Okada Manila by a group representing its ousted founder has been lifted by the Supreme Court.
Okada Manila’s parent company Universal Entertainment Corp announced Monday that the Court recently issued a resolution denying a petition by Kazuo Okada in the intra-corporate case he filed against Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI). It also lifted with immediate effect the Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) issued in April 2022 requiring TRLEI to restore the composition of its board of directors to its 2017 line-up, before the dispute that saw Mr Okada ousted for alleged acts of fraud against the company.
As reported by IAG at the time, issuance of the SQAO had seen representatives of Mr Okada forcibly take control of Okada Manila for a period of three months before the Universal-backed board of TRLEI was reinstated in early September 2022 upon the order of Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR.
According to Okada Manila, the Supreme Court of the Philippines issued a resolution on 13 November 2023 ruling that Mr Okada’s legal action against TRLEI was prescribed or filed beyond the period for filing an election contest.
More significantly, it also ruled that he was “properly removed as shareholder, director, chairperson and CEO of TRLEI”.
Mr Okada was, the court found, a nominal shareholder in TRLEI with only one nominal share which had already been revoked by the company in 2017. It also ruled that Mr Okada was not the controlling stockholder of the ultimate parent company, Okada Holdings Limited (OHL), based on foreign judgments issued by Japanese and Hong Kong courts, with his son Tomohiro Okada instead recognized as the majority shareholder of OHL.
“With this resolution, this litigation has been concluded and the SQAO by the Supreme Court has also been immediately lifted,” Universal said in Monday’s filing.
“As the result, the Company will recommence the suspended negotiation with the Philippines financial institutions and proceed with the refinancing of its privately placed notes outside Japan with various covenants such as the limitation on share buy-back issued to fund the ‘Okada Manila’ project.
“The Company will promptly announce progress that should be disclosed.”