Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corp says it is “not aware” of reported talks by its founder and former chairman Kazuo Okada to acquire a firm already listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, in order to inject the Philippine casino resort asset Okada Manila (pictured) into the target business.
In a filing to Jasdaq on Tuesday, Universal Entertainment however said it was “reviewing the possibility” of an initial public offering of its subsidiary Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. The latter is the developer and operator of Okada Manila.
“We will disclose promptly if any such plan is decided and materialised,” Universal Entertainment stated.
The firm stressed it controlled 99.9 percent of Tiger Resort and therefore had control over Okada Manila. It also noted that Mr Okada was no longer a director of either Universal Entertainment or Tiger Resort.
Earlier this year several media outlets in the Philippines had reported that Mr Okada was himself considering a way to list the Manila casino venture.
A rival investor in the Philippine casino market – Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd – used the 2012 acquisition of an existing Philippine-listed firm – Manchester International Holdings Unlimited Corp – to list its management interest in Philippine casino resort City of Dreams Manila.
Okada Manila, slated as a multi-phase US$2.4-billion scheme, had a soft opening on December 21 last year.
Mr Okada was suspended and then ousted from the Universal Entertainment board in June pending an investigation into allegations of misappropriation by him of some of its funds. The same month Tiger Resort announced it had removed Mr Okada as company chairman.
"The positive underlying contribution from each of our operating segments provides a strong start to the year"
Chief executive of lottery and gaming supplier IGT