Japanese casino tycoon Kazuo Okada has hit another hook in a chaotic family dispute over voting rights in a company he founded that is now controlled by his son Tomohiro Okada.
A recent Tokyo District Court judgment rejected Mr. Okada’s daughter Hiromi’s request that her voting rights be returned to Okada Holdings Limited (OHL).
The ruling could effectively prevent the Japanese billionaire businessman from returning to the board of OHL, a company for which he founded and chaired the next 30 years, Inside Asian Gaming Reports.
The recent decision referred to a 30-year trust agreement between Mr. Okada’s children – Tomohiro and Hiromi – and was signed in May 2017. In accordance with the terms of this agreement, Ms. Okada granted her brother voting rights to her share in OHL. At that time she was 9.78% in the company and in its subsidiary Universal Entertainment Corp. involved.
His sister’s rights, combined with his own 43.48% stake in the company, gave Tomohiro the majority he needed oust his father from the Executive Board and take control of OHL and some of its subsidiaries in summer 2017.
As reported by back then Casino News DailyMr. Okada was removed from the company’s board of directors for allegedly negligent breach of his duty as a board member at least twice. The parties claimed that inappropriate money transfers should have benefited the businessman.
Court ruling makes 30-year agreement practically effective
As mentioned above, Mr. Okada’s children signed the controversial trust agreement in May 2017, shortly before the billionaire was removed from OHL’s board of directors.
Ms. Okada later reconciled with her father and the couple initiated a lawsuit against Tomohiro in Hong Kong and Universal Entertainment Corp. In the legal challenge, Mr Okada’s daughter argued that her brother had led her to sign the trust agreement.
Mr. Okada’s estranged son countered his sister and father in Tokyo to validate the controversial agreement. The court ruled that the agreement was actually valid in a February 2019 ruling.
Mr. Okada and his daughter appealed the judgment, and the appeal has now been dismissed by the Tokyo District Court, which declared the agreement cannot be canceled by the accused.
It should also be noted that the Tokyo Supreme Court previously rejected another appeal by Ms. Okada and her father, making the decision final and binding.
According to a written statement by Okada Manila on behalf of its parent organization, Universal Entertainment Corp. the trust agreement remains in effect for the next 30 years. “Given control of OHL with Tomohiro Okada.”
The statement went on to say that this is “Effectively prevents former chairman Kazuo Okada from returning to the boards of OHL and UEC and his subsidiary Okada Manila within this period.”
Universal Entertainment Corp. is a Japanese slot machine manufacturer Founded by Mr. Okada in the late 1960s. The company later expanded into other segments of the gaming industry, including the operation of integrated resorts. It owns and operates the Okada Manila Hotel and Casino Resort in the Philippine capital through local subsidiaries.
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