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Okada sues Wynn for $800 million

Japanese billionaire files counterclaim in forced stake redemption dispute

The legal squabble between U.S. casino magnate Steve Wynn and Japanese gaming investor Kazuo Okada looks to be a protracted one.

For more than a decade, the billionaire Okada has helped fund Wynn’s Las Vegas-based casino company, Wynn Resorts Ltd. Okada held 20 percent stake in the company and also served as its vice chairman.

But last month, Wynn Resorts forcibly redeemed Okada’s shares at a 30 percent discount to their then market price and removed Okada as a director of the company. Wynn sued Okada for allegedly beginning to construct two casinos and three hotels in Manila, Philippines, with the intention of stealing Chinese clientele from Wynn’s casino in nearby Macau. 

On Sunday, Okada filed a counterclaim in federal court in Las Vegas against Wynn Resorts, claiming Wynn wasn’t legally allowed to redeem Okada’s shares. According to the filing, Okada agreed to purchase Wynn Resorts stock before the redemption provision was included in the company’s articles of incorporation.

Okada also claims Wynn knew about his Manila project as early as 2007 and never mentioned any unease about it.

Okada accuses Wynn’s company of breach of contract, and he also accuses Wynn of racketeering. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as a court order that will void the redemption of his shares.

“Wynn Resorts, for all its accomplishments, is not a corporation in any ordinary sense,” Okada’s lawyers said in the Sunday filing. “Rather, Wynn Resorts’ flamboyant chairman, Mr. Wynn, has run Wynn Resorts as a personal fiefdom, packing the board with friends who do his personal bidding, and paying key executives exorbitant amounts for their unwavering fealty.”

Ashley Post

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