Universal postpones Nasdaq listing due to Okada dispute

Universal had planned to merge with 26 Capital by September 30.
Universal had planned to merge with 26 Capital by September 30.

Universal Entertainment will push back its listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange by up to a year due to the legal dispute with Kazuo Okada.

The Philippines.- Universal Entertainment Corp has decided to put back its planned SPAC merger with 26 Capital Acquisition Corp. It had initially planned to make the merger by September 30, but may now wait up to year due to its legal dispute with Kazuo Okada over control of Okada Manila.

The merger was intended to allow Universal to list on the Nasdaq and combine Universal with its Philippine subsidiary Tiger Resorts Asia, which has recently regained control of Okada Manila. However, it’s facing the prospect of legal wrangling due to Kazuo Okada’s attempt to regain control of the Philippine venue.

Universal Entertainment said it will take time to “normalise the operating structure after the company’s group regained control of Okada Manila facility and operations… and to amend the registration statement on form F-4 under the US Securities Act that UERI filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the merger.”

In September, Universal Entertainment filed criminal charges against Kazuo Okada and his team in Hong Kong. According to the company, Okada’s team committed “fraud and violence” in their physical takeover of Okada Manila,

The indictment states that Tiger Resorts Asia Limited (TRAL) had suffered an unfair paralysis of the activities of Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment (TRLEI) and Okada Manila due to criminal activities and had suffered a significant and irreparable loss.

Earlier this week, a Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) panel indicted Kazuo Okada and three other people for grave coercion after their seizure of control of the casino complex on May 31. Those accused alongside Okada are business partners Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco, Dindo Espeleta and Florentino “Binky” Herrera III.

They are accused of taking over the integrated resort facilities by force. Although Okada was not present during the takeover, he was included by DOJ prosecutors in the indictment because “the incident happened with his prior knowledge, assent or imprimatur.” 

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