A SINGAPORE-BASED tribunal has ordered Bloomberry Resorts Corp. to pay over $100 million (P5.2 billion) to Global Gaming Asset Management Philippines (GGAM) as damages for lost management fees for the termination of its management services in 2013 and other costs, and to buy back about P10.17 billion worth of its shares held by GGAM.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange Monday, Bloomberry said the arbitral tribunal hearing the dispute between its units Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc. (BRHI) and Sureste Properties, Inc. (SPI) and GGAM has issued the final remedies award for its case filed on Sept. 13, 2013.
Bloomberry, however, called the final remedies award “fundamentally flawed in numerous respects,” saying that it will consider its options in Singapore and elsewhere.
According to the company, the tribunal awarded less than half of the damages sought by GGAM, including $85.2 million worth of damages for lost management fees, $391,224 as pre-termination fees and expense, and additional cost of $14.998 million.
The tribunal also ordered the Razon-led company to buy back 921.18 million shares in Bloomberry held by GGAM, estimated at about P10.17 billion. Should Bloomberry be unable to pay for the shares, GGAM is allowed to sell them in the market.
“Respondents are directed to take all steps necessary to facilitate this sale. Respondents will be liable for the difference in the selling price if it is less than the awarded price,” the company said.
GGAM bought the shares after exercising its equity option rights to increase its holdings in Bloomberry to 8.7%.
Bloomberry said its counsel has advised that the arbitration award is not self-executing and must be confirmed by a court before it can be enforced and have the legal effect of a judgment.
“Thus, counsel for Respondents has advised that, as a matter of Philippine law, this Final Remedies 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,” the company said.
To recall, Bloomberry signed a management agreement with the Las Vegas-based firm for the operations of Solaire Resort and Casino in 2009. Bloomberry Chairman Enrique K. Razon, Jr., however, fired GGAM in 2013, claiming his management still did most of the work prior to the casino’s opening despite the management deal.
Meanwhile, Bloomberry has also filed a petition with Singapore courts to void the Partial Award of Liability handed out in 2016 since the award was “procured by fraud and is in violation of public policy.”
Bloomberry noted that there were “fraudulent concealment and misrepresentations” made by GGAM, apparent in the outcome of US federal investigations on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that involves two of GGAM’s four executives.
Proceedings for this case are ongoing.
Shares in Bloomberry fell 3.89% or 44 centavos to close at P10.86 each at the stock exchange on Monday. — Arra B. Francia