Tiger takes control of ABG after block sale

Published February 5, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By James A. Loyola

Tiger Resort Asia Limited has completed the acquisition of shares comprising 66.67 percent of listed firm Asiabest Group International, Inc. despite attempts by its former Chairman Kazuo Okada to derail it.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Asiabest said it has received information that its majority shareholders “have transferred/crossed their shares to Tiger via special block sale.”

“As a result Tiger now owns 200 million shares or 66.67 percent of ABG,” the firm said adding that it now has a public float of 20.62 percent while foreign ownership shot up to 66.67 percent from 0.24 percent.The shares were acquired from Sunplaza Development Corporation (32.69 percent of ABG), Vittorio Paulo Lim (18.82 percent), and public shareholders (27.87 percent) for a total of P646.5 million or P3.2325 per share.

Tiger is currently the majority shareholder of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. doing business under the name and style Okada Manila.

Last January, casino magnate Kazuo Okada asked the PSE to deny, or at least defer, the block sale for the backdoor listing of Tiger.

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 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.

They 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.