Asia round-up: Universal Entertainment merger; NagaCorp, new CEO at The Star & more

By Louis Thompsett

Universal Entertainment merger date pushed back

Universal Entertainment Group, which controlled Okada Manila until a forceful takeover by a group led by Kazuo Okada, plans to merge with 26 Capital, a special acquisition vehicle. 

The merger will help Universal gain a stock exchange listing on NASDAQ, and will also see Universal converge with its Philippines arm, Tiger Resorts Asia – which directly operated Okada Manila preceding Kazuo Okada’s takeover. 

And it is this forced reclamation by the Japanese mogul Kazuo Okada, which has forced Universal Entertainment to extend its merger plans by three months, from 30 June 2022 to 30 September.  

However, the company hopes to “promptly carry out the merger before the deadline, once the environment to do so is in place.” 

The extension period will also afford Universal Entertainment time to update its security information and risks associated with the merger, owing to the takeover of Okada Manila.

In addition, Universal Entertainment has announced formal legal complaints against Kazuo Okada and his associates, Antonion Cojuangco and Dindo Espeleta, for their forceful takeover of the Okada Manila resort. 

NagaCorp claims award from Institutional Investor 

NagaCorp, which owns and operates the entertainment centre NagaWorld, has received accolades and been awarded the Most Honoured Company recognition by the financial publication Institutional Investor. 

Based in Southeast Asia’s Mekong Region, NagaWorld received awards for Best IR Team and Best IR Professional, while parent group NagaCorp was bestowed recognition for Best Investor Relations, Best CEO, Best CFO and Best Overall ESG in the Gaming & Lodging sector. 

“Given The Star’s significant investments to develop tourism and entertainment destinations in South East Queensland and Sydney, the company will benefit significantly from both his understanding of the industry’s regulatory environment and extensive insights and experience across the hotel and broader hospitality sector” Ben Heap, Star Interim Chairman

Recognition of NagaCorp’s exploits is part of Institutional Investor’s 2022 Asia Executive Team rankings; NagaCorp ranked first among small & mid-cap companies.  

Tan Sri Dr. Chen Lip Keong, Founder, Controlling Shareholder and Senior Chief Executive Officer of NagaCorp, said: “NagaCorp's outstanding achievements are a testament to our ongoing robust investor relations communications and engagements with the global investing community, despite very challenging times for the hospitality and leisure industry, which was badly disrupted by the pandemic.”  

Star Entertainment names Robert Cooke new MD & CEO 

The Star Entertainment Group has announced the appointment of Robert Cooke as its new Managing Director and CEO. 

Cooke will take over from Acting CEO Geoff Hogg; he will be the company’s fourth executive leader since Matt Bekier’s resignation in March 2022. 

Bekier resigned amid an investigation into alleged illegal activity at the company’s Star Sydney casino. 

Star Interim Chairman Ben Heap said: “Given The Star’s significant investments to develop tourism and entertainment destinations in South East Queensland and Sydney, the company will benefit significantly from both his understanding of the industry’s regulatory environment and extensive insights and experience across the hotel and broader hospitality sector.” 

Macau drops 48-hour negative Covid-19 NAT test for workers

The Macau Government has dropped its requirement for casino and construction staff to present a 48-hour negative nucleic acid Covid-19 (NAT) test to be able to work. 

Construction and casino employees will instead only need to present a negative rapid antigen test every 48 hours. 

The legislative change comes following huge queues at NAT stations across Macau, in which workers flocked to receive NAT tests.

Missed a big gambling industry story in Asia? Don't worry, Gambling Insider has you covered with our Asia round-up.  

TAGS:

Share This Post




More News

PlayAGS has rejected Inspired Entertainment’s offer to buy the company at $10 per share (or $370m total). The supplier has specified that it is only rejecting this particular offer...






It’s been a busy time for financial results within the gambling industry, with the likes of Flutter Entertainment, Entain, 888 Holdings, LeoVegas, NeoGames and Table Trac all publishing either...