Okada Manila’s parent firm gets $2.6-B settlement windfall from Wynn
The parent firm of Okada Manila has ended a legal dispute with US-based Wynn Resorts Limited that ran for over six year with a $2.6-billion settlement – a deal that is expected to benefit the Philippine operations of the Japanese gaming giant.
In a press statement, Okada Manila’s local representatives said Okada’s parent firm, Universal Entertainment Corp., had settled the case with Wynn over the latter’s forcible redemption of shares with Wynn agreeing to compensate Universal Entertainment for the stock.
“This is a good deal because both parties can now move on with their lives,” an official of Okada Manila said, requesting anonymity because the issue was being handled at the parent firm’s level.
The payment is also expected to help improve the finances of the local casino resort.
The agreement was earlier announced to the Jasdaq Securities Exchange in Osaka, Japan, with Universal Entertainment announcing that its US subsidiary, Azure USA Inc., had entered into a settlement agreement with Wynn over the lawsuits filed before the Nevada state district court.
“Universal Entertainment and Aruze USA shall dismiss all claims against Wynn Resorts and its executive officers and directors and Wynn Resorts shall dismiss all its claims against the company and Aruze USA,” the statement said. “On or before March 31, 2018, Wynn Resorts shall pay the group a total of $2.632 billion.”
The statement added that the amount included cumulative interest. The agreement, however, did not include Kazuo Okada since he was s not a party to the settlement.
“In this regard, Kazuo Okada is not a party to the settlement agreement and nothing in the agreement is intended to be construed as giving a release of any kind to Okada,” it added.
Azure USA is 100-percent owned by Universal Entertainment, which is also the parent company of Tiger Resort Asia Limited which, in turn, fully owns Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., the owner and operator of Okada Manila.
In February 2012, the board of directors of Wynn Resorts, which is chaired by Steve Wynn, decided to forcibly redeem the 24,550,000 shares held by Aruze USA, then represented by Okada, on the ground that the latter was deemed an “unsuitable person.”
Wynn Resorts decided to redeem the shares of Azure USA, then the largest shareholder of the said resort, for some $1.9 billion placed in a promissory note payable after 10 years with an interest of 2 percent per annum.
Wynn had claimed that under its articles of incorporation, it could effectively carry out mandatory redemption as the company, Aruze USA and Okada fell under the category of “unsuitable person.”
But this was questioned by Azure USA and a series of lawsuits were filed against Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, members of his board of directors and his executive officers. /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.