(Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O) said it would hold a special meeting of shareholders to remove Kazuo Okada from its board, less than two weeks after the Japanese billionaire was ousted as director of the company’s Macau unit.
The falling out between the two self-made tycoons Steve Wynn and Okada came into the limelight in January when Okada filed a lawsuit against Wynn for blocking access to financial documents related to a $135 million donation by Wynn Resorts to the University of Macau.
The two sides will face off in court in a Las Vegas procedural hearing on Thursday related to Okada’s lawsuit involving the university donation, which also triggered an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into the issue.
Each claims the other made improper payments to foreign gaming regulators to win favor in Wynn’s Macau market and Okada’s Philippines operations, and the acrimony has attracted the attention of regulators and investors worldwide.
Wynn Resorts has already forcibly redeemed Okada’s nearly 20 percent stake in the company after an internal investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh revealed that Okada - who made his fortune from pachinko and is CEO of Universal Entertainment Corp 6425.OS - had violated U.S. anti-corruption laws.
In a filing with the SEC, Wynn Resorts said it was necessary from a gaming regulatory standpoint to remove Okada and that failure to remove him would pose a material risk to the company.
Stockholders of record on March 30 will be entitled to vote on the proposal, but the date of the meeting has not yet been set, Wynn Resorts said in a statement.
Under Nevada law and Wynn Resorts’ Bylaws, the casino company needs two-thirds of the voting power to agree to remove Okada as a director.
Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier; Editing by Richard Chang