Asiabest defers annual meeting amid messy ownership squabble over Okada Manila

A listed firm controlled by Okada Manila owner Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. (TRAL) has cancelled its annual stockholders meeting amid the heated battle over control of the casino-hotel in the Entertainment City.

Asiabest Group International (ABG), which is 67 percent owned by TRAL, said its board postponed the annual stockholders’ meeting scheduled on Wednesday, August 10, because it was “unable to prepare the necessary materials” for the annual gathering.

The ABG board has been in disarray after Japanese billionaire Katsuo Okada, acting on a status quo ante order (SQAO) issued by the Supreme court, took control of Okada Manila last May with the help of Tonyboy Cojuangco and Dennis Espeleta.

ABG director Hajime Tokuda was among the Okada Manila officials hurt during Katsuo’s takeover. “I have never seen such violence, brutality, and force in any intra-corporate dispute. But on May 31, I have not only witnessed it, I experienced it,” said Tokuda who is also a director of Universal Entertainment Corp., the ultimate parent of TRAL.

Aside from the Okada Manila squabble, ABG also lost three of its nine-member board. ABG chairman, former Justice Manuel Lazaro, passed away on May 26.

One of its independent directors, Alfredo E. Pascual, resigned on June 1 after he was appointed as Trade and Industry Secretary by President Bongbong Marcos.

Its vice chairman and independent director, Abogado Wilfrido Sanchez, resigned on July 25 due to “his advanced age and health conditions.” Okada,

The remaining members of ABG board are Tokuda, president Kenji Sugiyama,Byron Yip, treasurer and CFO Hans Van Der Sande, Toji Takeuchi, and Katsuo’s wife, Takako Okada.

In a recent statement, TRAL claimed the sham board led by Katzuo has been paying themselves with the cage money while intimidating and easing out employees who questioned the use of the casino-hotel’s money.

“We at TRAL are deeply concerned that the illegal acts of Kazuo Okada and his illegitimate officers will put in danger not only the integrated casino resort itself, but also the 5,000-strong employees of Okada Manila,” said TRAL director Kenshi Asano.

Profit of Yap-led CEU clobbered by pandemic restrictions

Centro Escolar University (CEU), controlled by he heirs of the late Don Emilio Yap, saw a 23 percent decline in net income during its fiscal year ending May this year to P119.05 million due to the deferral of revenues and recognition of contract liabilities.

Germany raids properties belonging to Russian oligarch

German investigators on Wednesday raided properties belonging to a Russian oligarch suspected of tax evasion and breaking EU sanctions, police and prosecutors said, with sources naming billionaire Alisher Usmanov as the target.

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