Casino management business Global Gaming Asset Management (GGAM) has filed a lawsuit against billionaire owner of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, Enrique Razon, seeking $296.6m (£216.3m/€253.0m) in damages over the termination of a contract to manage the Solaire Resort and Casino in the Philippines.
The suit says Razon convinced GGAM – a joint venture that manages casino resorts, set up between private equity business Cantor Fitzgerald and various former Las Vegas Sands executives – to provide “substantial assistance” in developing the Solaire.
This became the country’s first integrated resort, and GGAM said it invested “tens of millions of dollars” into the project. According to the business, Razon sought to use GGAM’s “planning, technical, advisory, management, and operational services”.
It added that under the terms of the agreement, GGAM would have a right to purchase 10% of equity in Solaire, and could earn a similar deal in any future Bloomberry casino projects.
GGAM said its work with Solaire included recruiting a management team, negotiating contracts and managing customer databases including VIP junkets.
However, over six months after the casino opened, GGAM says Razon terminated the deal, withholding fees to the business.
“Pouring salt on GGAM’s wound, Razon also leveraged his personal relationships in the Philippine stock market to unlawfully prevent GGAM from selling its equity interest in the project – an obstructive effort Razon continues to this day,” the filing added.
The $296.6m figure comes from an arbitral tribunal that met in 2018. It determined that the value of the option shares was $196m, with a further $85.2m in lost management fees, $391,000 in pre-termination fees and expenses and $15.0m in legal fees.
GGAM said that as Razon – who also owns port management business International Container Terminal Services and is the second richest person in the Philippines – exerts “domination and control” over Bloomberry, the suit could be filed against him personally as well as against the business. It cited a Wall Street Journal interview in which he refers to making most decisions “unilaterally”.