Okada names two proposed Wynn board nominees

AP Photo/Nevada Appeal, Cathleen Allison

Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, right, talks with Kazuo Okada during a Gaming Commission hearing Thursday, June 17, 2004, in Carson City, where Okada received approval for a license for his Japanese Aruze Corporation to manufacture and sell slot machines in Nevada.

Dissident Wynn Resorts Ltd. board member Kazuo Okada on Wednesday identified two of his proposed independent nominees to the Wynn board – nominations that are subject to a judge restoring his rights as a shareholder.

Okada's attorneys have said he wants to nominate as many as four people to the board for consideration at the November annual meeting to help break what he calls Steve Wynn’s ''stranglehold on the company.''

The Okada nominees, identified in a regulatory filing, are Jonathan Macey, a Yale Law School professor who specializes in corporate and securities law and corporate finance; and Fredric Reynolds, an accountant and executive in Montecito, Calif.

Okada’s filing said each of the nominees will be paid $50,000 one time for agreeing to be nominated.

''Aruze USA (Okada’s company) intends to nominate these candidates for election to the board in order to strengthen the board and to provide strong, independent directors to enhance the issuer’s (Wynn Resorts’) corporate governance and help lead the issuer in its future success,'' the Japanese billionaire's filing said.

It is disputed, however, whether Okada has rights as a shareholder to nominate directors or vote for them since Wynn Resorts redeemed his $2.9 billion of stock in February over allegations that Okada breached his duties as a director of the casino-resort company.

Okada's attorneys last week asked Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez to restore his shares. She set an Oct. 2 hearing on the request.

The dispute between Okada, Wynn Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn and directors allied with Steve Wynn centers on Wynn Resorts’ opposition to Okada developing a casino resort in the Philippines and on charges that Okada improperly provided benefits to Filipino gaming regulators.

Okada, in turn, has suggested improprieties in Wynn Resorts’ $135 million donation pledge to a university in Macau, the Chinese gambling district where the company has extensive casino interests.

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