LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O), locked in a legal battle with one-time largest shareholder Kazuo Okada, won its first legal skirmish.
A Nevada state judge ordered Wynn Resorts to turn over only two pages of the many pages of documents that Okada’s team had requested for a lawsuit related to a $135 million contribution by the Las Vegas casino to the University of Macau.
Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez rejected Okada’s request for other documents, which she called “overbroad.”
On January 11, Okada filed suit, alleging that he had objected to Wynn’s May 2011 pledge to the University of Macau Development Foundation as “inappropriate” and sought a ruling to inspect the casino company’s books and records.
The judge refused Okada’s request to see documents related to how Wynn spent a $120 million investment made by Okada’s Aruze Corp in 2002, before Wynn Resorts went public. Okada also sought information the company used for a 2010 stockholders’ agreement between Okada, Wynn Chief Executive Officer Steve Wynn and his wife Elaine.
A spokesman for Wynn had no comment on the decision. An Okada spokesman was not available.
In its court documents, Wynn Resorts also said that it would schedule a special shareholder meeting for late April or early May to try to oust the Japanese businessman from its board.
If stockholders vote to remove Okada from the board, Okada “would immediately lose standing to inspect Wynn’s books and records through his petition,” according to the Wynn filing, obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
Okada owned a 20 percent stake in the company before Wynn unilaterally redeemed Okada’s shares on February 24, after an internal investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh that alleged Okada may have violated U.S. anti-corruption laws.
After that report was made public, directors at Wynn Resorts’ Wynn Macau (1128.HK) subsidiary voted Okada off their board.
Wynn’s filing “reveals its intent to draw this process to the point Okada is removed, thus eliminating its need to comply with his inspection requests,” Okada argued in his filings.
Reporting By Sue Zeidler and Ron Grover; Editing by Tim Dobbyn; editing by Carol Bishopric