Wynn Resorts drops all claims against co-founder Okada

Updated March 12, 2018 - 8:05 pm

Wynn Resorts has dropped all claims against co-founder Kazuo Okada, opening the door wider for Chief Executive Officer Matt Maddox to bring to a quick close the bitter, six-year battle among shareholders.

The Las Vegas-based company voluntarily withdrew claims of breach of fiduciary responsibility against the Japanese businessman on Monday, according to Nevada court records.

Wynn Resorts filed suit in 2012 against Okada, then a Wynn board member, claiming he paid bribes to Philippine government officials and thus threatened the company’s reputation. The judge agreed to dismiss the case, bringing all litigation between Wynn Resorts, Okada and Universal Entertainment Corp. to a close.

Monday’s move comes on the heels of Thursday’s surprise announcement that Wynn Resorts will pay Universal $2.4 billion to end the fight over a 20 percent stake in the casino operator.

Lawyers for Okada, who is not a party to that agreement, threatened Friday to file a temporary restraining order to halt the deal. Okada refrained Monday from that action after Wynn Resorts dropped its claims against him.

Maddox, who took the helm after Steve Wynn stepped down Feb. 6 amid allegations of sexual harassment, has moved aggressively to clean up the company’s image and end the lawsuits.

Wynn Resorts has been mired in investigations pertaining to those allegations while fighting Universal and Elaine Wynn.

At the same time, the company is pursuing expansion in Las Vegas, Boston, Macau and Japan.

Elaine Wynn’s case against Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts is the remaining roadblock.

Steve Wynn sought to end his battle with his ex-wife two weeks ago, filing a motion to invalidate their 2010 shareholder agreement. However, a judge declined his motion because Universal was a party to that agreement.

With Universal out of the case, Wynn will again ask the judge on Friday to declare the shareholder agreement with his ex-wife invalid, permitting both to sell their shares.

On Monday, Wynn Resorts shares rose $2.90, or 1.5 percent, to $191.79, the highest since the end of January.

Contact Todd Prince at 702 383-0386 or tprince@reviewjournal.com. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

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