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MANILA, Philippines – A Supreme Court (SC) order that temporarily reinstated Kazuo Okada in casino resort Okada Manila has been lifted, effectively removing the Japanese pachinko tycoon as its shareholder and chief executive officer.
In a notice to investors on Monday, November 27, Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC), one of the parent companies of Okada Manila, said the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that Okada’s action against Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated (TRLEI) – another company that controls the casino – was filed beyond the prescribed period.
Okada’s complaint was dismissed and was found to have not been the controlling stockholder, citing judgements issued by Japanese and Hong Kong courts.
“It also ruled that Kazuo Okada was properly removed as shareholder, director, chairperson and CEO of
TRLEI. The Supreme Court confirmed that he was a mere nominal shareholder in TRLEI with only one nominal share which had already been revoked in 2017 by parent company Tiger Resort Asia Limited,” UEC said.
Recall that in April 2022, the SC issued a status quo ante order (SQAO) which effectively reinstated Okada on a temporary basis up until the High Court could determine whether he was lawfully removed from his post in 2017 for alleged fund misuse and fraud.
The same SQAO was used by Okada’s camp to storm Okada Manila, leading to a hostile takeover on May 31, 2022 that involved private guards and police officers. Officials that controlled Okada Manila then accused Okada’s camp of kidnapping and grave coercion over the incident.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, through a legal opinion issued by the Department of Justice, reinstated Okada to the company but noted that the tycoon did not have the power to install his own set of board members.
This arrangement led to Okada and the board that ousted him to be in the same company.
With Okada out of the casino named after him, UEC said it would “recommence the negotiation” with Philippine financial institutions and restart its refinancing efforts through privately placed notes outside Japan.
UEC did not disclose further details about the fundraising activities, but it would “promptly announce progress.”
Rappler has reached out to Okada’s legal counsel for comment. – Rappler.com