Businessman Kazuo Okada’s crusade to recover holding company from a group led by his son Tomohiro that ousted him in the summer of 2017 has taken another hit
A Tokyo court has ruled that a trust agreement signed by Mr. Okada’s son Tomohiro and daughter Hiromi in the spring of 2017 and later on used to oust Mr. Okada from Universal Entertainment Corp. was legally binding.
Mr. Okada founded Universal Entertainment in the 1960s. The company quickly grew into one of Japan’s largest manufacturers of pachinko, a locally popular pinball-like gambling machine, and other gaming devices.
Universal Entertainment is owned by Hong Kong-listed Okada Holdings Limited.
The Japanese businessman was removed from the board of Okada Holdings in June 2017 after he was accused by fellow board members that he had misappropriated millions of dollars. Mr. Okada has kept denying those claims, saying that his ouster was the result from a plot devised by his own son Tomohiro.
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The family rift resulted in lawsuits piling up over the past two and a half years, with the Japanese gambling mogul seeking to regain control over his companies, one of which runs the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital.
The Siblings’ Agreement
According to a recent ruling issued by a Tokyo court, two share trust agreements signed between Mr. Okada’s son Tomohiro and daughter Hiromi were legally binding. The documents were later on used for what the Japanese businessman has claimed was his illegal ouster.
The two agreements were signed on March 2 and May 23, 2017. Mr. Okada’s daughter has said before court that her brother took advantage of her emotional state to trick her into signing the papers without providing her with enough information about their contents and their purpose.
Mr. Okada’s legal team said after the Tokyo court delivered its ruling that it would keep on trying to help the businessman recover his companies and punish those responsible for his ouster.
Universal Entertainment’s subsidiary Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. operates the Okada Manila integrated resort. Tiger Resort recently completed its backdoor listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange via the purchase of a controlling stake in the listed Asiabest Group International Inc.
Mr. Okada’s lawyers said in a statement that as the “rightful owner” of Okada Holdings, the businessman needed to be consulted on all matters concerning the investment vehicle and its subsidiaries. The legal team also pointed out that Mr.
Okada was not consulted about the transaction and the listing of Tiger Resort and that he would file legal cases against those involved in the process.
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