The legal squabble between Japanese gaming investor Kazuo Okada and casino king Steve Wynn is intensifying.
For more than a decade, Okada helped to fund Wynn’s Las Vegas-based casino company, Wynn Resorts Ltd. The Japanese billionaire once was the company’s largest shareholder, with 20 percent stake in the company.
But in February, Wynn Resorts forcibly redeemed Okada’s shares at a 30 percent discount to their market price. Wynn sued Okada for allegedly planning to construct casinos and hotels in the Philippines with the intention of stealing clientele from Wynn’s casino in nearby Macau. A month later, Okada filed a counterclaim against Wynn, claiming the company wasn’t allowed to redeem his shares. Both sides lobbed Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allegations at each other.
Wynn reportedly has filed a preliminary proxy statement announcing a stockholder meeting to remove Okada from the board. In an effort to stave off his ousting, Okada last week filed a preliminary injunction in which he asked a federal judge to immediately restore the 20 percent stake he once held in the company. Okada also filed an amended counterclaim in which he accuses Wynn, General Counsel Kimmarie Sinatra and individual board members of committing “a series of predicate acts of racketeering, which include fraud, acquiring property under false pretenses, acquiring signatures under false pretenses and other similar wrongful activities.”
In a statement, Wynn Resorts said that Okada “is recycling his previous baseless allegations in the press, while continuing to interfere with the judicial process by refusing to accept service of court documents. The facts clearly justify the carefully considered actions taken by the Wynn Board to redeem an unsuitable shareholder in order to protect the company and its shareholders.”
Read Reuters for more about Okada’s latest accusations.
For more InsideCounsel coverage of Wynn and Okada’s battle, read: