Okada Manila operator takes control of ABG

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OKADA MANILA is one of the integrated casino-resorts in Entertainment City.

THE operator of Okada Manila has concluded its share purchase agreement with Asiabest Group International, Inc. (ABG) as part of its backdoor listing plans.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, ABG said shareholders who signed the share purchase agreement with Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRAL) last September 2018 have transferred their shares to the latter through a special block sale.

With this, TRAL now owns 66.67% of ABG, or 200 million shares. The transaction was valued at P646.50 million.

TRAL is the local unit of Japanese firm Universal Entertainment Corp. It owns Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI), which in turn operates integrated resort and casino Okada Manila in Entertainment City.

ABG’s public float now stands at 20.62%, versus 33.97% prior to the transaction.

Minority shareholders of ABG opted not to participate during TRAL’s tender offer, where the company proposed to purchase the remaining 100 million common shares held by minority investors at P3.23 each.




Shares in ABG soared 8.36% or P2.40 to close at P31.10 each at the stock exchange on Monday, bucking the main index’s loss of 0.92% to end at 8,069.48.

The conclusion of the transaction comes amid the ownership dispute filed by Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada against the current board of directors of TRAL and TRLEI. Mr. Okada had filed lawsuits questioning his removal from TRAL and TRLEI in 2017.

He was also removed as chairman and director of UEC — the beneficial owner of TRAL and TRLEI founded by Mr. Okada himself — for allegedly fraudulent activities.

Mr. Okada earlier asked the Philippine Stock Exchange to deny the backdoor listing of TRAL via ABG until such time that all relevant legal proceedings be completed. — Arra B. Francia