Three law firms — Baker McKenzie, Milbank and Schulte Roth & Zabel — are driving Philippines-based casino Okada Manila’s plans to go public in the U.S. through a $2.5 bln merger with blank check company backed by a former Las Vegas Sands Corp. director.

Okada Manila and blank check company 26 Capital Acquisition Corp announced the deal on Friday, in what an attorney said was the first merger between a U.S. blank check company and a Filipino company.

Universal Entertainment Corp, Okada Manila's parent company, has turned to Baker McKenzie Tokyo and Milbank for the deal.

The Baker McKenzie team was led by corporate partner Derek Liu. The firm’s team included corporate partners Michelle Heisner and Steve Canner; tax partner Ryutaro Oka; and corporate partner Akifusa Takada.

Liu said in a statement that said the deal was the first merger between a special purpose acquisition company and a Philippines-based company.

The Milbank team was led by James Grandolfo.

The 26 Capital blank check company is working with Schulte Roth & Zabel. The firm's team is led by M&A and securities partners Jeffrey Symons and F. Xavier Kowalski.

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, raise funds through initial public offerings to merge with privately held companies and take them public.

The 26 Capital SPAC worked with Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, with Graubard Miller advising the underwriters, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SPAC is backed by form Las Vegas Sands Corp director Jason Ader.

The merger between the SPAC and Okada Manila is set to close in the first half of 2022.