September 27, 2019 - The firm achieved a decisive victory for Global Gaming Asset Management (GGAM) when a Singaporean arbitration tribunal issued a nearly $300 million final remedies award to the Las Vegas-based casino operator in its long-running dispute with a premier gaming resort owner in the Philippines.
On Sept. 27, the tribunal ordered Bloomberry Resorts to pay $296 million to GGAM as compensation for the early termination of GGAM's management contract at Bloomberry's five-star resort and casino in Manila.
In September 2011, GGAM entered into a 10-year management services agreement (MSA) to develop, construct and operate Bloomberry's new Solaire Resort & Casino, then under construction in Entertainment City, Philippines. Solaire was the first of four casino resorts built in Entertainment City, a gaming and entertainment complex designed to help Manila compete with the leading Asian casino venues, Singapore and Macau. With GGAM's help, the Solaire opened for commercial operations in March 2013 -- on time, on budget and to rave reviews.
But Bloomberry terminated the deal in September 2013, claiming GGAM breached the terms of its contract by allegedly failing to perform a variety of services, including delivering an expected number of high-rollers to Solaire's VIP gambling rooms. GGAM fired back by initiating an arbitration in Singapore that same month, claiming that Bloomberry had no contractual right to terminate the MSA.
In January 2014, GGAM tried to sell its 8.7 percent stake in Bloomberry, but the casino operator blocked the sale by obtaining an injunction from a Philippine court before the tribunal was formed.
Once constituted, the tribunal issued an interim order that vacated and superseded the Philippine court's injunction. But GGAM's title to approximately 921 million shares in Bloomberry remained in dispute, due to Bloomberry's counterclaim in the arbitration to claw back the shares based on GGAM's purported breach of the MSA.
In September 2016, the tribunal issued a partial award on liability, declaring that Bloomberry was "not justified" in terminating GGAM because the services GGAM delivered were in keeping with 10-year MSA the parties signed in 2011.
As part of the remedies phase, the tribunal awarded $296 million to GGAM: $85.2 million for lost management fees, $15 million in attorneys' fees and court costs, $391,000 in pre-termination fees and expenses, plus post-award interest at an annual rate of 6 percent beginning 30 days after the award.
The tribunal also ordered Bloomberry to pay $196 million to buy out GGAM's shares in the company. If Bloomberry refuses to pay for the shares, GGAM can sell the shares on the market, with Bloomberry's assistance to facilitate the sale.