Century Properties withdraws case vs Okada group

Rappler.com
Century Properties withdraws case vs Okada group
The Jose E.B. Antonio-led property firm settles amicably with the Japanese tycoon after a year of disagreement over the aborted joint venture to build an integrated resort and casino project

MANILA, Philippines – Century Properties Group Inc. (CPG) is withdrawing its case versus Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada over their botched deal to build an integrated resort and casino project in PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) Entertainment City.

The disagreement between the two parties was settled amicably after a top level meeting involving CPG Chairman Jose E.B. Antonio and Okada.

“We recognize that the disagreement between our companies was a result of a misunderstanding of the issues, which were clarified in our meeting with Mr. Okada,” said CPG in a statement on Thursday, May 14.

CPG added that it is now taking the appropriate legal steps to withdraw the case, as it focuses its attention to more constructive matters.

“We wish the Okada group continued success in its projects,” it added.

The CPG’s decision to settle amicably with Okada came less than a month after the property firm reported that it has filed a notice of arbitration with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center against the Okada group. (READ: Century Properties files for HK arbitration over casino deal)

It was in the last quarter of 2013 when CPG entered into an investment agreement with Okada’s Eagle I Landholdings Inc, Eagle II Holdco, Inc and Brontia Ltd. for the development of a luxury residential and commercial project on a 5-hectare property at the 44-hectare entertainment complex, Manila Bay Resorts.

But on March 2014, Okada rescinded the agreement after one of the parties involved in the investment agreement withdrew from the negotiations.

CPG then pursued legal action against the Okada group. The Makati Regional Trial Court in the same year issued an order that prevented Okada from terminating the agreement. An appellate court, however, issued a  decision in March to review the prohibition.

No conditions

CPG said the reconciliation between two parties transpired without conditions.

CPG’s move to no longer pursue its case versus the Okada group will enable it to focus on planned developments including its tourism-oriented projects, Kristine Garcia, the company’s investor relations head said.

In April, CPG said it will be spending P20 billion ($449.34 million) over the next 10 years to develop its first tourist resort project in Palawan. (READ: Century Properties to spend P20B for Palawan project)

Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment President Kenji Sugiyama in the same statement welcomed CPG’s decision to withdraw the case against the Okada group.

“The Okada Group thanks Century Properties for the opportunity to clarify and put the issues to rest. We take this opportunity as a big step toward moving forward with the development of the project, which we deem will be Asia’s best integrated resort that Filipinos will be proud of,” Sugiyama said.

Tiger is a subsidiary of Okada-owned Universal Entertainment Corporation, which is undertaking the development of Manila Bay Resorts.

On May 12, PAGCOR said it would suspend Okada’s license to operate a $1-billion Manila casino if he fails to explain construction delays.

Regulators confiscated a P100-million ($2.24-million) assurance bond from Tiger and gave the company until mid-July to justify an extension to its timetable, said Francis Hernando, vice president of state-run PAGCOR.

Tiger said it wanted to delay the opening of its casino to the first quarter of 2017, according to Hernando, with the company now hoping to build a bigger resort complex than originally planned. (READ: PH threatens to suspend Japanese tycoon’s casino license) – Rappler.com

$1 = P44.55

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