Wynn Resorts shareholders vote against Okada

Wynn Resorts shareholders vote in support of Okada departure, board reduced to 8 directors

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Wynn Resorts Ltd. said Friday that its shareholders voted overwhelmingly to remove Kazuo Okada from the company's board, but the Japanese billionaire says his feud with CEO Steven Wynn is not over.

Okada resigned from the board Thursday, but Wynn Resorts shareholders were also asked to vote on a proposal to remove him from the board.

The company said Friday that more than 86 million shares voted and the proposal was approved by 99.6 percent of the shares voting at the special meeting. At the time of Okada's resignation Thursday, virtually all of these stockholder votes had already been cast.

The company's board will be reduced to eight directors.

Okada was once the largest shareholder in Wynn Resorts, but the company forcibly bought back his stake. The casino operator alleges Okada acted improperly in dealings with Philippine officials. Okada says Steve Wynn seeks to push him out and increase his own control of the company.

The two men have traded accusations of unethical or illegal conduct during an extended legal battle between one-time friends and business partners that has become increasingly personal and public.

Okada said that Steve Wynn has orchestrated a "deliberate campaign" to deceive him and his actions have betrayed their friendship, management agreement and shareholders agreement that the two men held. He also suggested that some of the land concessions that Wynn and his company sought in China should be investigated.

He also said that he will continue to fight the involuntary redemption of his stake in Wynn Resorts and will not abandon a pending lawsuit.

"I no longer believe it is appropriate for me to serve on the board of directors of a company that is behaving in a manner that I deeply believe to be unethical, and that has refused my reasonable requests to promptly investigate what appears to me to be misconduct by Steve Wynn, and thus is under the dictatorship of Mr. Wynn and fails to fulfill its original function," Okada said in a statement.

Shares of Wynn Resorts rose $1.75 to $117.28 in afternoon trading.

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