Ader says Okada Manila could continue expansion in Japan


Posted: Oct 19, 2021, 11:33 a.m.

Last updated on: October 19, 2021, 11:33 a.m.

After announcing its intention to merge with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), Okada Manila may consider its next step: expanding into Japan, the home country of its parent company.

Okada Manila
Okada Manila could continue its expansion after the conclusion of its PSPC deal. Japan is a likely destination. (Picture: Yahoo finance)

Last Friday, Okada Manila, the world’s only integrated hotel complex owned by Japanese people, announced its merger with Jason Ader’s front company, 26 Capital (NASDAQ: ADER), paving the way for the casino operator to list its actions in the United States. The company will trade on the Nasdaq when the transaction with the blank check company closes in June 2022.

Ader, who also heads investment firm SpringOwl Asset Management, confirmed that Okada Manila will seek expansion opportunities in Japan.

The company will hold assets beyond the Philippines over the next several years, ”Ader said in an interview with Bloomberg. “This company does not expect to be a single company with assets in perpetuity.”

Currently, Okada Manila only includes this gaming location in the Philippines. The only publicly traded casino operator in the United States with a smaller number of sites is Monarch Casino & Resort (NASDAQ: MCRI), which owns two gaming properties.

Assessment of the prospects for Okada Manila in Japan

Japan-based Universal Entertainment is the parent company of Okada Manila, so there are obvious links to the world’s third-largest economy, but it remains to be seen how the operator will fit into the ever-emerging landscape of casino gaming. his home country.

The approval process there is slow, but it is expected that next year, Japanese authorities will select up to three cities to host the country’s first integrated resorts. While new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida backs casino gaming, Okada Manila lags behind its competition, at least when it comes to the initial trio of licensing.

Currently only three prefectures – Nagasaki, Osaka and Wakayama – are bidding and each has declared their intention to move forward with great partners. Osaka is teaming up with local financial services company Orix and MGM Resorts International, while Casinos Austria is partnering with Nagasaki.

Wakayama’s offer may have recently had a positive impact when Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) said it was joining the Clairvest Neem Ventures KK consortium.

Other opportunities

Ader adds that Okada Manila could possibly seek acquisition opportunities beyond Japan, but declined to identify specific markets.

He previously served on the board of directors of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) from 2009 to 2016, confirming an intimate knowledge of the gaming landscape in Asia. There is speculation that some gaming assets in the Asia-Pacific region may be in the market, but these rumors do not implicate Okada Manila.

Ader’s 26 Capital is providing up to $ 275 million in cash to Okada Manila as part of the blank check transaction and if its shares appreciate as a result of the transaction, it will have additional currency to consider acquisitions, but it could take some time for such plans to materialize. come together.

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