The Court of Appeals in the Philippines has confirmed an earlier ruling by a lower court that prevents Global Gaming Philippines LLC – a unit of U.S.-based Global Gaming Asset Management LLC, which in turn has links to former casino executive William Weidner – from selling its shares in Bloomberry Resorts Corp. Global Gaming Philippines was once contracted to run Bloomberry’s Manila gaming complex, Solaire Resort and Casino.
The Philippine news website Rappler reported that Global Gaming Philippines intended to sell PHP921.18 million (US$17.57 million) in shares in Bloomberry after Global Gaming Philippines lost in 2013 the contract to manage Solaire. Bloomberry had alleged the firm had broken its management service agreement.
The appeal judgement is the latest in a series of legal interventions conducted in the Philippines and in Singapore, in the relationship between the two companies.
In November last year a court in the City of Makati, one of the municipalities of Metropolitan Manila, issued a preliminary order prohibiting Global Gaming Philippines from “disposing of, or facilitating, allowing, implementing and completing the sale or transfer” of its shares in Bloomberry.
The Rappler report said that in upholding that order, the Court of Appeals dismissed a key argument of the former contractor. This was that the Makati court had disregarded a decision given by arbitrators in Singapore in December 2014 that the Global Gaming Asset Management unit had the right to sell its shares.
The appellate court cited rules governing proper procedure for appeals as its reason for upholding the order, Rappler said in its Sunday report.
Solaire Resort and Casino opened in March 2013. The partners had struck a casino management services contract that included veteran industry figure Mr Weidner and some associates.
Mr Weidner – a former president and chief operating officer of U.S.-based casino group Las Vegas Sands Corp – and his associates were paid US$175,000 a month for technical assistance on all aspects of planning, design, layout and construction of the project, as well as for services related to recruitment, selection and hiring of employees for Solaire.
According to the Bloomberry group’s 2015 annual report; on September 12, 2013, Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels and Sureste Properties terminated the agreement with Global Gaming Philippines, alleging “material breach” and “failure of discussions”. The Bloomberry group said that its commitment regarding fees due to the contractor only ran up to that date.
Global Gaming Philippines exercised on December 21, 2012, an option to purchase the Bloomberry shares, which at that stage represented about 8.35 percent of the casino developer.
The legal battle between the two parties has been under way since 2014 and the latest ruling is said not “is not the final contemplated” order. The court in the most-recent appeal also said last year’s order was “merely an order in resolving the motion for clarification filed by Deutsche Bank”.
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