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Monday, May 19, 2014

Makati court junks Century Properties' bid to stop termination of Okada casino deal

Century Properties Group Inc lost a court battle against Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada over their agreement for an integrated resort project in Entertainment City.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the property company of former ambassador Jose EB Antonio said the Regional Trial Court of Makati issued an order denying and dismissing Century Properties' petition for interim measures of protection against the Okada group.

"We are still seeking the advice of our legal counsel and studying our legal options," Century Properties said in a statement when asked to comment on the court order.

In a statement posted on its website, Okada-led Universal Entertainment Corp said the court junked Century Properties' petition for "lack of merit."

In March, the Philippine property firm obtained a court order preventing the Okada group from terminating their investment agreement for the $2-billion Manila Bay Resorts project. Last month, the real estate company secured a 20-day extension of the court ruling that will expire on May 13.

The initial court order required the Okada group to produce all documents and information that Century Properties will need to complete its due diligence, extend the due diligence and closing periods, and refrain from dealing with any other party for the development of a five-hectare portion of the property.

The Okada group stopped negotiations with Century Properties after privately held First Paramount Holdings 888 withdrew from the agreement.

The agreement would have given Century Properties and First Paramount a combined 60 percent stake in Eagle 1, which holds the 44-hectare property on which the Manila Bay Resorts would rise. Eagle 1 is owned by Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc, a unit of Universal Entertainment.

Century Properties had claimed the pullout of First Paramount should not have rendered the deal ineffective because provisions under the investment agreement provide alternative measures to exhaust all reasonable means to close the deal.

Despite the dispute with Century Properties, Manila Bay Resorts is on track to open in the third quarter of 2015, Tiger Resort had said.

The Okada group has long been in search for a local partner to partly address issues on foreign ownership of land. Earlier negotiations with Robinsons Land Corp of the Gokongwei family and Empire East Land Holdings Inc of billionaire Andrew Tan fell through.

- Interaksyon

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