THE Court of Appeals has granted a petition of Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada to review its agreement with Century Properties Group (CPG) to build the $2-billion Manila Bay Resorts and to exit from the deal.
CPG said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that it filed a notice of arbitration with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center on April 17 to pursue the dispute resolution clause of their agreement.
It said it brought the case to the international arbitration center after the court issued an order on March 27 granting the petition of the Okada Group to review their agreement.
The Okada Group terminated the tripartite deal with CPG and First Paramount Holdings 888 to develop the Manila Bay Resorts, an integrated resort project within the Pagcor Entertainment City in Paranaque City, after CPG withdrew First Paramount from the deal.
In July last year, the Makati Regional Trial Court issued a ruling stopping the Okada Group from terminating the deal. But the CA set aside the order of the trial court.
With the CA ruling in favor of the Japanese gaming tycoon, CPG has sought help from the Hong Kong international arbitration tribunal, which could prolong the proceedings to a maximum of one year.
The deal would provide Century Properties and First Paramount 60 percent ownership in Okada’s Eagle I Landholdings Inc., which owns the 44-hectare property where Manila Bay Resorts is to be located.
Eagle I is a subsidiary of Okada-led Tiger Resorts Leisure & Entertainment Inc., which is one of the four firms granted by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) licenses to develop in Entertainment City.
Before the deal with CPG, the Okada Group was in talks with companies in search of a local partner to meet the requirements of foreign ownership. Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. and Andrew Tan-led Empire East Land Holdings were seen as potential partners, but talks with both companies fell through.