Executives at japan's Universal entertainment Corp. spent much of the past year coming up with creative ways to scuttle the $2.6 billion merger of their okada manila casino resort unit with a blank-check company, a former partner in the deal told a US judge.
Jason Ader founded 26 Capital Acquisition, which agreed to combine with the Okada resort to give it a Nasdaq stock listing. But Ader, whose firm sued to revive the failed deal, testified Monday that Universal started working to sabotage the Philippines casino transaction starting in 2022. Universal declared the merger dead on June 30, bloomberg reports.
“We got zero cooperation” in closing the deal, Ader told Delaware Chancery Judge Travis Laster during the first day of trial testimony. Ader is a veteran gaming-industry analyst and on the board of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. He's now chief executive officer of SpringOwl Asset Management LLC.
The dispute involves a $275 million investment by 26 Capital in the 100-acre Okada Manila resort and casino, which is valued at $2.6 billion. Universal owns 88% of the property under the terms of the deal. But Universal and its units managing the casino have been at odds after its founder — billionaire Kazuo Okada — was ousted from the board and arrested on a visit to the Philippines last year. Read more.