Japanese gaming machine giant Universal Entertainment Corporation has reportedly asserted that a stockholders agreement it signed with Wynn Resorts Limited in 2010 remains valid despite the recent decision by Steve Wynn (pictured) to stand down as the American firm’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
According to a report from GGRAsia, 76-year-old Wynn resigned from the Las Vegas-based company on February 6 amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct before subsequently stating that the move meant he had relinquished control of the 9.4% stake in Wynn Resorts Limited contentiously held by his former wife, Elaine Wynn.
However, Universal Entertainment Corporation reportedly used a Friday filing with the JASDAQ Securities Exchange to declare that the billionaire casino magnate’s resignation had not invalidated the previous deal as it ‘is a three-party agreement’ between Wynn, his ex-spouse and its own Aruze USA Incorporated subsidiary. It further purportedly proclaimed that it has ‘numerous pending claims in this case which assert that the stockholders’ agreement is valid and enforceable’ and that none of the parties may offload any shares they hold in Wynn Resorts Limited without the prior consent of all three factions.
GGRAsia reported that 2010 saw Universal Entertainment Corporation become the largest stakeholder in Wynn Resorts Limited after its then-Chairman, Kazuo Okada, inked a deal that saw the Tokyo-headquartered firm’s Aruze USA Incorporated subordinate acquire some 24.55 million shares. But, this stake was purportedly forcibly redeemed at a discount two years later after Okada was allegedly accused of illegally bribing gaming officials in the Philippines in order to realize his $2 billion Okada Manila integrated casino resort.
The whole matter has since been winding its way through the court system in Nevada. Universal Entertainment Corporation reportedly additionally used its Friday filing to assert that it is continuing to seek ‘invalidation of the redemption’ along with the ‘return of its shares of Wynn Resorts [Limited] stock’.
“Mr Wynn’s statements that now, in his view, the stockholders’ agreement is not enforceable against Ms Wynn do not resolve in any way Aruze USA Incorporated’s claims that the stockholders’ agreement is valid and enforceable,” reportedly read the filing from Universal Entertainment Incorporated, which is moreover purportedly arguing that it is entitled to damages of around $4.5 billion ‘for the invalid redemption’ of 2012. “Specifically, neither Mr Wynn nor Ms Wynn can sell their respective shares in Wynn Resorts Limited without the required approval of Aruze USA Incorporated under the terms of the stockholders’ agreement or until Aruze USA Incorporated’s claims in this case are resolved.”