Daily Management Review

In Bid To Regain Control Of Gambling Empire, Okada Sues Family: Reuters


In Bid To Regain Control Of Gambling Empire, Okada Sues Family: Reuters
In an attempt to regain control of his sprawling business empire, a law suit has been filed by Japanese casino and slot machine tycoon Kazuo Okada against his son, daughter and wife in Hong Kong as shown by a court filing and Okada.
After they took control of the board of a Hong Kong company at the center of his business holdings in May, he saw a lawsuit as the only way to get his son and daughter to the negotiating table, Okada, 74, said in an interview.
According to the Hong Kong High Court online database, also a defendant in the suit is Okada Holdings Ltd, the Hong Kong company that is majority owner of Tokyo-listed gambling machine maker Universal Entertainment Corp. No other details were available from the court and it was unclear on what grounds the suit was brought.
In a change that was registered on May 12, according to a public filing, Okada was pushed out as director of Okada Holdings and he said that he believed he had been wronged by the move to push him out.
Okada said he does not know his daughter Hiromi's current whereabouts and hasn't seen his son Tomohiro in two years.
He hoped that a settlement, that would restore his position at Okada Holdings, would follow a directive from the judge due to the lawsuit.
"Unless I sue there will be no opportunity to talk. The reality is I am in a losing position in terms of voting rights," Okada said, referring to his 46.4 percent stake in Okada Holdings, versus Tomohiro and Hiromi's combined 53 percent.
Until May 18, he did not find out he was dropped as Okada Holdings' director, Okada said. He was being investigated for alleged misuse of company funds, Universal's board told him on May 23, he said. Universal announced on May 31 that he would not be reappointed to its board.
"I was totally blindsided," Okada said.
Universal was holding its annual shareholders' meeting at a hotel in Tokyo and the interview took place last Thursday in the restaurant in the hotel. Since the Hong Kong holding firm holds his stake, Okada had been denied entry on the grounds he is not a direct shareholder.
There was no response from Universal to Okada's assertions.
because his son believed he was not being paid dividends from Universal commensurate with his 43.5 percent stake in Okada Holdings, Tomohiro had turned against him, Okada said.
He planned to investigate the matter, Okada said,
As long as he could get her brother to work towards a settlement, he was confident he could convince Hiromi to support him, Okada said.
He could not forgive her for agreeing to be reappointed to Universal's board, Okada said with reference to his wife Takako.
In three transactions during 2015, Okada and another director were accused of misappropriating some $20 million in company funds by Universal through a press release last month. Now looking for other alleged irregularities is an investigative panel composed of three attorneys.

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