Century sees recourse in int’l court
Developer Century Properties Group Inc. wants an international arbitration court to intervene after the Philippine Court of Appeals said it would review an earlier decision favoring the developer in its dispute with Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada over a failed casino partnership at the Entertainment City along Manila Bay.
Century told the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday that on April 17 it filed a notice of arbitration related to its “dispute resolution clause in the investment agreement” it executed with Okada.
The company reported in a regulatory filing that the Court of Appeals issued an order on March 27 “granting Okada’s petition for review.”
The order from the Appeals court, in effect, superseded that of a Makati City regional trial court, which last year favored Century and prevented the Japanese billionaire from terminating a partnership with the Filipino builder, best known for its brand partnerships with high-profile individuals like celebrity Paris Hilton and American businessman Donald Trump.
Century had argued at the time that the basis for Okada’s notice of termination was “unfounded” and was in violation of the spirit of the investment agreement both parties signed in 2013.
Also, Century’s presence would have solved thorny land ownership issues for Okada.
At stake was the venture the two had agreed on for a slice of business in Entertainment City—a casino gaming hub that the Philippine gaming regulator is positioning to rival the developments in Macau and Singapore.
The deal would have made Century the owner of a 36-percent stake in Eagle 1 Landholdings Inc., the holding firm that owned the 44-hectare estate in Pagcor Entertainment City where Okada’s gaming complex called Manila Bay Resorts would rise.
At the same time, Century was set to build luxury residential and retail properties with over 300,000 square meters of gross floor area in a five-hectare site within the complex.
Manila Bay Resorts is expected to be the third of four integrated casino and entertainment complexes to open in Entertainment City.
The first to open was Enrique Razon Jr.’s Solaire Resort and Casino, which started operations in 2013. City of Dreams Manila, a venture between Filipino billionaire Henry Sy and Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment, opened earlier this year.
Bayshore City Resorts World, a venture between Filipino billionaire Andrew Tan and Malaysia’s Genting Group, plans to open its doors in the fourth quarter of 2018.
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