By James A. Loyola
Casino magnate Kazuo Okada is asking the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to deny, or at least defer, the block sale for the backdoor listing of Tiger Resort Asia Limited (Tiger).
Universal Entertainment Corp's founder Kazuo Okada attends a news conference at the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo, Japan September 14, 2017. (REUTERS/Issei Kato / MANILA BULLETIN)
In an urgent letter to the PSE, Okada’s counsels Atty. Salvador Paolo Panelo, Jr. and Atty. Kathleen Mativo said that approval of Tiger's planned block sale and backdoor listing through Asiabest Group International Inc. (ABG) is inconsistent with the PSE’s objective to protect the investing public.
“The Exchange should disapprove the application for the Block Sale, and disallow the Backdoor Listing because there exists, at bare minimum, a serious issue as to whether Fujimoto et. al. are legitimate directors/officers of Tiger, and the rest of the Okada Companies, that can act for and on behalf of said Companies,” Okada’s counsel said.
Okada’s lawyers maintained that the supposed authority of the current directors/officers of the Okada Companies is anchored on the validity of the casino magnate’s removal as sole director of Okada Holdings Inc. (OHL), which they claim is void.
Okada’s lawyers added that the Backdoor Listing is not authorized and is opposed by the casino magnate, who claims to be the true and legal beneficial owner of controlling shares, and Chairman or Sole Director, in all Okada Companies.
Contracts entered into by TRAL or TRLEI under the Philippines may be found to be unenforceable or voidable, and may prejudice the public, Okada’s lawyers said.
Until it is fully settled, the control and ownership dispute within the Okada Companies makes Tiger unsuitable to be listed with the Exchange.
Okada's camp hit the move of Tiger to list while in the middle of the dispute, saying that a company with decent and respectable directors would not do so because they know it may prejudice investors.
The dispute should be contained, and not be allowed by the PSE to spill to the public, Okada's camp asserted.
Okada’s lawyers also questioned whether Tiger’s "illegitimate" directors, officers and control persons are suitable to control a company listed with the PSE.
“The lack of integrity of Fujimoto (Jun Fujimoto, current President and CEO of UEC) et. al. is clear when you consider that most of them were trusted protégés and aides of Mr. Okada before they turned his children against him with lies, and robbed the man of the fruits off his labor,” the letter stated.