Supreme court decision excludes Kazuo Okada from returning to board for 30 years – Universal

A final decision issued by the Supreme Court of Japan has upheld a ruling that effectively bars Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada to come back to the board of Okada Holdings Limited (OHL) – a company he founded – for the next 30 years, Universal Entertainment Corporation (UEC) indicated in a release.

A Hong Kong-registered private company, OHL is the controlling shareholder of Universal Entertainment, the parent company responsible for the Okada Manila integrated resort casino in the Philippines.

On July 14 the Tokyo District Court had ruled to uphold a trust agreement under which Tomohiro Okada, son of the Japanese businessman was able to control his own sister’s voting rights in OHL.

That same month the Hong Kong High Court dismissed a summons brought by UEC seeking to prevent Okada from disposing of assets in Hong Kong, as the company was seeking US$620 million from its founder for alleged mismanagement on the development of Okada Manila.

On July 31 and UEC and Tiger Resort Asia Limited filed an application for leave to appeal against the court judgment of July 17, 2020.

The Tokyo High Court then dismissed an appeal from the 77-year-old gaming tycoon that claimed he was unlawfully removed from the board of OHL, with the lower Tokyo District Court has ruled in February 2019 that his own family had the legal authority to oust him from the firm.

In 2017 Okada’s children combined their voting powers to exile their father from the family business after they accused him of three acts of fraud.

Okada later reconciled with his daughter, Hiromi, with the pair filing criminal proceedings in Hong Kong against both Tomohiro and UEC, with Hiromi claimed she had been tricked into signing the ousting of her father.

‘Hiromi Okada’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Japan in the litigation between Mr. Tomohiro Okada and Ms. Hiromi Okada has been rejected – she had two ways to appeal, and one of the appeals had already been rejected – her remaining appeal was rejected effective July 14, 2020. This means that the dispute between Kazuo Okada’s son and daughter is now finally resolved with his son winning,’ UEC indicated in the announcement.

UEC added that the Supreme Court has rejected Ms. Hiromi Okada’s appeals this month, so the Tokyo High Court decision has become final and binding, with Okada now unable to come back to UEC’s Board for next 30 years.

Last year, a Macau Court of Second Instance (TSI) has also upheld a ruling to acquit Wynn Macau of a MOP8.2 billion (US$1 billion) compensation claim made by the Japanese businessman and former business partner of the gaming operator.

Mr. Okada, who was expelled from Wynn’s Board of Directors in 2012, had filed a lawsuit against Wynn Macau and its founder, Steve Wynn, to the Court of First Instance (TJB) in 2015.