Biz Buzz: Gaming woes
This show-biz personality—who’s no longer active these days—recently became the talk of the town, or at least the moneyed circle. This is because of his assets now being hawked out to high networth individuals. One yacht had been sold and another is up for grabs, according to the grapevine. One can only guess how many fancy cars and real estate assets this guy will add to the secondary market.
Why this big de-leveraging? Mr. Showbiz has recently developed a penchant for high-roller gaming and has been frequenting casinos in the metropolis, likely locked up in the VIP rooms and away from the public eye.
According to the grapevine, he has flushed down money in a single day that broke all records in local gambling, alarming even casino managers (who wanted to drag him out for his own sake) and loan sharks (who avoided him for their own sake).
If estimates are correct, losses over a period of three months have exceeded nine digits. And his landmark single-day loss? The size could put any single solon’s pork barrel allotment to shame.
One joke around town is that the plush urban clubs are partly to blame for Mr. Showbiz’s woes. If they had only accepted Mr. Showbiz to their elite clubs, he could have spent more time playing golf or simply hanging out instead of incurring all these hefty losses.—Doris C. Dumlao
Most of us thought that the union between Pancake House and Teriyaki Boy (hatched several years ago when the former bought the latter) was a happy one. But alas, that no longer seems to be the case.
Biz Buzz learned that Brian Tiu—the former controlling shareholder of Teriyaki boy and now a minority owner with 30 percent—is demanding that Pancake House return more than P300 million in cash to Teriyaki Boy under threat of legal action.
This was the gist of a letter sent by Tiu’s camp a few weeks ago to Pancake House and its head honcho, Martin Lorenzo.
“We confirm that our client requests PHI (Pancake House Inc.) to return, pay or refund all funds released from TBGI (Teriyaki Boy Group Inc.) to PHI or any affiliates of PHI over the past five years,” said the letter signed by Teriyaki Boy counsel Jose Bernas.
The amount supposedly covers “advances from TBGI without set off of any sort, management fees, service fees and even bonuses. In general, all the foregoing and other similar expenses that have yet to be uncovered have no bases, are unauthorized, contrived or grossly overstate a fair TBGI obligation,” the lawyer said.
“Our client therefore requests that all similar expenses or payments to PHI returned to TBGI. We need not quantify these amounts because these are known to you. Neither do we need to state that PHI has favored the growth of PHI by sacrificing the growth of TBGI, and that the nominee directors of PHI failed to carry out their fiduciary duties to TBGI,” he added.
Pancake House’s corporate secretary responded to the letter with a tactful request for clarification on several points raised by the Teriyaki Boy side, although one could sense that fangs and claws were being readied on both sides of the growing dispute.
This comes at an awkward time, of course, since Pancake House announced late last year that it would sell its operations to the Max’s restaurant chain for some P3.9 billion. We heard that that deal was originally set to be closed on Feb. 21, but it remains to be seen if it will push through as scheduled given the points being raised by the Teriyaki Boy side now.
So look out for more flying plates and utensils between these two restaurant groups in the coming days.—Daxim L. Lucas
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