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Bloomberry bid to drop arbitration award rejected

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THE Singapore High Court has dismissed the petition of Bloomberry Resorts Corp.’s (BRC) subsidiaries to set aside the enforcement of the partial award given by an arbitration tribunal in favor of companies whose management contract was terminated.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the listed firm said the court found that the findings presented by its units Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc. (BRHI) and Sureste Properties, Inc. (SPI) against Global Gaming Philippines LLC and GGAM Netherlands BV “do not constitute strong and cogent evidence of any species of fraud.”

“Singapore counsel has informed SPI and BRHI that they have until 3 February 2020 within which to appeal this decision to a higher court in Singapore. The appeal would focus on the flaws and the misappreciation of the evidence in the decision,” it said.

BRC said its units had received the court’s decision dated Jan. 3, 2020.

The decision came after the BRC subsidiaries asked the court to set aside and oppose the enforcement of the partial award dated Sept. 20, 2016 by an arbitration tribunal in Singapore. The tribunal found the termination of the management services contract with GGAM as wrongful. It also affirmed GGAM’s ownership of and right to sell 921,184,056 shares in BRC.

The BRC units alleged that there was concealment and misrepresentation in light of the outcome of two US federal investigations regarding violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving two of GGAM’s four executives during their time at Las Vegas Sands.

Ahead of the high court’s decision, the arbitration tribunal issued its final award dated Sept. 27, 2019 in favor of GGAM. The final award is now subject of a separate pending case by SPI and BRHI in the Singapore court to set it aside and oppose its enforcement.

“Counsel for SPI and BRHI has advised that the arbitration award is not self-executing and must be confirmed by a court for it to be enforceable and to have the legal effect of a judgment,” BRC said.

It added that the counsel had advised that, as a matter of Philippine law, the partial award of the arbitration tribunal may be enforced in the Philippines “only through an order of a Philippine court of proper jurisdiction, after appropriate proceedings taking into account applicable Philippine law and public policy.”

BRC said the final award on Sept. 27 awarded less than half of the damages sought by the claimants. Among others, it ordered the respondents to pay the claimants $85.2 million as damages for lost management fees, $391,224 as pre-termination fees and expenses, and P10,169,871,978.24 for the 921,184,056 GGAM shares in BRC in exchange for the claimants turning over the shares after the payment.

The final award also provided for the respondents to pay claimants cost of $14,998,052.

On Monday, shares in BRC fell by 3.22% to P10.22 each. — Victor V. Saulon









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