Steve Wynn is known for his epic anti-Obama/big government rants, so we’ve seen his temper in action. We’ve even gone so far as to imagine how uncomfortable it might be to have that anger directed at us.
Now imagine him feuding him with his best friend, Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada, who owns double the stake Wynn does in his casino empire namesake. Okada is also chairman of the largest stakeholder in Wynn (Universal Entertainment Corp., which has 19.7% stake in Wynn, and Goldman Sachs has an 11% interest in Universal).
Here’s what happened between Wynn and Okada: Reuters obtained a memo in which Wynn responds to the SEC’s request that Wynn keep all documents surrounding a $135 million gift ($10 million up front and more over 11 years) the company gave to the University of Macao. The SEC suspects that their may be some form of bribery afoot, and Okada came out against his former friend and said the donation was “inappropriate.”
To be fair, casino magnates like Stanley Ho, for one, have made donations to the University in the past, and experts say that Wynn has a pretty clear record in the region. Regardless, one can imagine how such a statement from Okada would enrage Wynn.
There’s more, in the memo, Wynn says Okada is only turning against him because he’s developing a $2 billion casino resort in the Philippines — one in direct competition with Wynn.
“In breaking ground recently on his Philippine project, Mr. Okada not only defied the wishes of the board, he became a significant new competitor,” Wynn wrote in his memo.
Moreover, Okada is planning to nominate 4 director candidates to Wynn’s board, which would give him considerable control of the board.