Steve Wynn won’t renominate his ex-wife, longtime shareholder and former director Elaine Wynn, to the Wynn Resorts board next month, and she’s not taking the news well.
In a letter written last month, Elaine Wynn told the board she would nominate herself and send a proxy statement to shareholders if the board refused to renominate her, The Wall Street Journal’s Kate O’Keeffe reported.
At the heart of the conflict is an agreement that Mr. and Mrs. Wynn signed during their second divorce, in 2009 (they first divorced in 1986 and remarried in 1991).
At the time, Wynn’s largest shareholder, Kazuo Okada, faced restrictions on his 20 per cent stake in the casino company, and Elaine Wynn agreed to restrictions on her own shareholding so as not to undermine their deal with Okada.
But then Okada began to face corruption allegations and Wynn blocked him from the board, redeeming his shares at a 30 per cent discount. So in 2012, Elaine Wynn decided it was time to remove the restrictions on her own shares, arguing they were no longer necessary, and opened a lawsuit in Nevada.
That battle is ongoing, but if she wins, and is able to sell all of her shares, she could damage her ex-husband’s control over the company. (He used to hold a 40 per cent stake, but after the Okada scandal, it’s down to about 9.4 per cent, the Journal reported.)