Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp has sold its entire 40% stake in Eagle II Holdco Inc. to All Seasons Hotels & Resorts Corp. for $2.9 million.
All Seasons is owned by Antonio Cojuangco, a Filipino businessman and relative of the country’s president. According to a filing with the Japanese Stock Exchange, Universal completed the sale in January.
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) President Jorge Sarmiento told Reuters that the regulator had yet to receive official confirmation of the sale, but “if true, [Universal] will be able to address the issue of the nationality problem.”
Local law prevents foreign firms from owning over 40% of land. In 2012 a legal opinion by the justice department said that Universal owned more than the limit.
Eagle I Landholdings Inc. is the registered owner of the lot near Manila Bay where Universal’s local subsidiary Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment is building its $2-billion integrated resort Manila Bay Resorts. Eagle II currently owns 60% while the rest was owned by Aruze USA Inc., a US firm owned by Okada. In its latest Japanese exchange filing, Universal named the owner of the stake as Brontia Limited. The reason for the change was not disclosed.
PAGCOR had ordered Tiger Resorts to resolve the land ownership before it can start operating. Earlier this week, Tiger Resorts announced that it had found a Philippine partner but there is no confirmation yet on the name of the company.