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Okada Manila close to finalizing SPAC deal despite controversy

Posted on: June 3, 2022, 9:21 a.m.

Last update: June 3, 2022, 9:32 a.m.

Despite a recent coup attempt by its founder — which some say was violent — Okada Manila is set to complete a merger with Jason Ader’s special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) 26 Capital (NASDAQ:ADER ), paving the way for a listing in the United States.

Okada Manila
The Okada Manila integrated resort in the Philippines. The company is about to be listed in the United States. (Image: Philippines business and news)

The blank check company announced today that Universal Entertainment’s Form F-4 registration statement is now effective with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Universal Entertainment, the Japanese pachinko giant that is Okada Manila’s parent company, owns 100% of the casino operator, and Ader’s 26 Capital is providing up to $275 million in cash to the company.

SPAC set the record date today, which means shareholders from today will be eligible to vote on the proposed transaction at a meeting scheduled for June 25.

If the proposals of the Special Meeting are approved, the parties anticipate that the Business Combination will close shortly thereafter, subject to satisfaction of all other closing conditions. » according to a press release. “At closing, the combined company is expected to be listed on Nasdaq along with its common stock.”

The blank check deal values ​​Okada Manila at $2.6 billion. The stock will trade under the symbol “UERI” upon closing of the transaction.

Interesting timing to say the least

Noting that SPAC’s goal is to see mergers reach the finish line, the timing of 26 Capital’s confirmation of the aforementioned recording is still interesting, as it comes just three days after billionaire Kazuo Okada’s attempt to physically take over the control of the Philippine integrated station bearing his name. .

Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) – the parent company of Okada Manila – said that on May 31, 50 private security guards and members of the Paranaque town police attempted to take control of the integrated station. The site, including the casino and hotel, is believed to be operating normally.

Subsequently, the Philippine casino regulator PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) said it was not involved in the case.

Okada believes he was unfairly ousted from TRLEI’s board in 2017 and is seen as taking advantage of an April ruling by the Supreme Court of the Philippines ordering the company to put the board back in its 2017 state to affect the takeover of Okada Manila.

Okada Manila brings hope to gaming SPACs

Following a series of ill-fated gaming blank check transactions in 2020 and 2021, Okada Manila could breathe new life into gaming SPACs.

Okada Manila is a single publicly traded gaming company – by SPAC or otherwise – simply because it is a single-ownership entity. However, the venue is profitable, and its first-quarter revenue jumped more than 30%.

The gaming company could also be a viable candidate for expansion. Ader, who also runs investment firm SpringOwl Asset Management, previously said the operator could possibly assess opportunities in Japan, depending on how the integrated resort policy there develops.