Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp, the founding parent of the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippines, says the Philippine Supreme Court has “lifted” a “status quo ante” order that had restored Kazuo Okada, the ousted founder of the company, to the board of the property’s operator.
Mr Okada (pictured) founded Universal Entertainment, and also Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI), the operator of Okada Manila, but was ousted from both entities in June 2017, accused of fraud. He has denied wrongdoing.
In April last year, Mr Okada’s side had been granted a “status quo ante” order, restoring the composition of the TRLEI board to how it was before he was removed. His side cited that order as a justification for the six-month takeover of Okada Manila last year.
Supporters of Mr Okada physically occupied the premises of the casino resort for a time starting on May 31 last year. Universal Entertainment said in a September 4, 2022 statement that it had taken back control of the property.
In a Monday statement, Universal Entertainment said the Philippine Supreme Court issued a resolution on November 13 “denying a petition” by Mr Okada in an intra-corporate case he had filed against TRLEI.
“With the denial of Kazuo Okada’s petition, the Supreme Court also lifted immediately the status quo ante order that it issued last year,” stated the Japan-based company.
It added: “The resolution ruled that Kazuo Okada’s action had prescribed or was filed beyond the period for filing an election contest. It also ruled that Kazuo Okada was properly removed as shareholder, director, chairperson and chief executive officer of TRLEI.”
The court’s resolution also said that Mr Okada “is not the controlling stockholder” of the ultimate parent company of the group, noted the Japanese conglomerate.
Universal Entertainment stated that following the court’s resolution, the “litigation has been concluded and the status quo ante order of the Supreme Court has also been immediately lifted”.
The company also said it would “recommence the suspended negotiation with the Philippines financial institutions and proceed with the refinancing of its privately placed notes outside Japan … issued to fund the ‘Okada Manila’ project”.
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