Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) may have a distraction for its shareholders now with its ongoing fight between Steve Wynn and Kazuo Okada. Okada’s Aruze USA, Inc. has issued an open letter to the Wynn shareholders and it has nominated two individuals to serve on the board of directors. The move comes ahead of the 2012 annual meeting which will take place on November 2, 2012.
Kazuo Okada is a founder and member of the board of directors of Wynn Resorts and collectively owns 24,549,222 shares of Wynn’s common stock. This represents some 19.6% of the outstanding shares.
Okada is talking up the 30% decline in share prices along with a loss of confidence with Steve Wynn’s personal financial and control goals. It noted a questionable $135 million donation it made to a public university in Macau while Wynn was seeking local government approval to open a casino, and it noted that the donation is currently under investigation and has brought on lawsuits against the company.
Mr. Okada has gone on to say that Wynn Resorts has attempted to silence his influence, has raised serious questions of corporate governance, and more. The two nominees are Professor Jonathan R. Macey and Mr. Fredric G. Reynolds, both of whom have served on public company boards of directors.
Wynn Resorts shares are still trading around $112.50 against a 52-week range of $90.11 to $161.33. Rival casino Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) trades around $46.60 and its 52-week range is $34.72 to $62.09.
Wynn shares are down about 30% from its 52-week high and Las Vegas Sands is down about 25% from its 52-week high.
JON C. OGG