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*IPO* TRELI - Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc.
#1 that's what its symbol's gonna be Tongue

Okada Manila operator still studying IPO plan

Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc., the operator of integrated casino and resort Okada Manila, is reviewing plans to hold an initial public offering, its parent company in Japan said Wednesday.

Universal Entertainment Corp. owned by Japanese gaming and pachinko mogul Kazuo Okada said: “At present the company is reviewing the possibility of an IPO for TRELI and we will disclose promptly if any such plan is decided and materialized.”

Universal Entertainment said in statement posted on its website that it was not aware of any plan to acquire a Philippines-based listed firm for possible backdoor listing.

Reports came out early this week that Okada was considering the possibility of acquiring listed Bright Kindle Resources and Investments Inc. for the prospective backdoor-listing of its casino venture.

“There was an overseas media coverage stating that Mr. Kazuo Okada, former chairman and director of Universal Entertainment Corp., will acquire the management rights of a list company to merge Okada Manila, an integrated casino resort project of the company, into the company. However the company is not aware of any such actions by him,” Universal Entertainment said.

Okada Manila, which opened in late 2016, is a $2.4-billion integrated gaming and resort development at Entertainment City in Parañaque.

Phase 1 of the project covers 21.55 hectares with 41,000 square meters of gaming area involving 500 gaming tables and 3,000 electronic games, two hotel towers offering 933 rooms, 21 food and beverage outlets, a 3,000-square-meter spa, a beach and night club occupying 4,500 square meters of space and one of the world’s largest dancing fountains.

Once fully operational, the 44-hectare Okada Manila is set to become the largest integrated entertainment resort in the country.

Okada Manila is the third integrated resort casino that opened in Entertainment City after Bloomberry Resort’s Solaire Resort & Casino and Melco Crown’s City of Dreams.

Both Bloomberry and Melco are listed with the Philippines Stock Exchange.

The fourth and final casino player―Travellers International’s West Side City Resorts World―targets to launch its casino operations by 2020.

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Universal Entertainment “Not Aware” of Kazuo Okada’s Plans to Backdoor-List Manila Casino Resort

Universal Entertainment Corp., the Japanese gaming machine manufacturer, said that it had no knowledge of potential attempts by businessman Kazuo Okada to acquire a Philippines-listed company and merge it with the manager of Manila-based casino resort Okada Manila and thus backdoor-list the property.

The Japanese group’s comment came after reports emerged that Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment, the company that controls the complex, has been in talks to acquire Philippine publicly traded firm Bright Kindle Resources.

In a statement from earlier today, Universal Entertainment explained that Tiger Resort is indeed responsible for the operation of Okada Manila and that the company is a consolidated subsidiary of the Japanese gaming group. However, Mr. Okada currently has no involvement in the operation of the casino resort, as pointed out by Universal Entertainment itself.

As previously reported, the Japanese tycoon was ousted from the boards of both Tiger Resort and its parent, due to allegations that he had transferred, without the specific approval of fellow board members, a considerable amount of money to a third party. The recipient had then extended the money to a business entity owned by Mr. Okada. An investigation was then opened into the alleged improper movement of funds and more similarly questionable instances emerged.

In its statement, Universal Entertainment revealed that it has been considering the possibility to issue an IPO for Tiger Resort, but no decision has been taken yet. The company is set to release more details when it decides on whether the move will be materialized.

Backdoor-Listing and the Philippines’ Casino Industry

Backdoor-listing has not been a rare practice within the nation’s casino industry. Here it is important to note that together with three more integrated resorts, Okada Manila is part of a grander scheme for the construction of a hotel, gaming, and entertainment complex in the heart of the Philippine capital.

Okada Manila is the third resort to have been launched as part of what is known as Entertainment City project. Bloomberry’s Solaire Resort & Casino and Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s City of Dreams Manila were the first to open doors in the Manila Bay area and they were both backdoor-listed through a local publicly traded vehicle.

According to reports from local media from earlier this week, Bright Kindle Resources was planned to be acquired by Tiger Resort and then used so that the casino operator is listed on the Philippine exchange. Unnamed sources had reportedly said that the backdoor-listing process would take around two years to be completed.

Okada Manila hosted its opening in March 2017 after multiple delays. The $2.4-billion resort represented a goal of Mr. Okada’s to enter a market he believed would be a highly lucrative one. The March opening celebrated the first phase of the project, which occupies 22 hectares of land. The whole resort is planned to spread over 44 hectares of land. Construction work on the resort’s second phase is expected to commence late this year.

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