Corporate business a Wynn-Wynn situation

Jan 19, 2010 5:07 PM
Couple still linked via the family bizz

I wonder if the Wynns – that’s Steve and Elaine – will be able to make their divorce work this time?

Will they have any more luck than they did in 1986 when they called it quits only to remarry five years later?

Their most recent divorce was final earlier this month, assuming Las Vegas news stories have the facts straight, but local gossip columns have since described them as out on the town together on at least two separate occasions.

A couple of single billionaires will always find issues worth serious discussion, and here they are with mutual interests that won’t disappear whatever their marital status.

As far as public statements go, there have been none from Steve.

Elaine has been a bit more visible, vowing to retain her connection with the company where she is serving a three-year term as one of the directors. And she always has been the Wynn whose name was most attached to the company’s public outreach program and recently donated $1 million to a program supplying food for school children with a need for more nutrition.

Whatever the current nature of their personal relationship, there is no question that Elaine has played a key role in the company’s development over a number of years, a fact that Steve saw no reason to argue as evidenced by his agreement to give her half of his stock in the publicly traded Wynn Resorts.

That figured out to about 18 percent each, each 18 percent share being worth close to $800 million as of the close of trading last Friday. As property settlements go, they probably don’t get much bigger. And that’s before anyone gets to the division of other accumulated property.

"Elaine has always had an important role in the company. People who believe she was nothing more than a supportive wife are absolutely wrong," confided a source with a good view of that relationship over a number of years.

Wynn gave his former wife credit for some of the important design elements associated with the Encore.

"Besides, the kind of fortune they’re sharing will soothe a lot of shattered feelings." This from another source familiar with the couple who claims no knowledge of their current interests.

Remember when Wynn announced his purchase of the Desert Inn almost 10 years ago, an occasion when he described the deal as a birthday gift for Elaine. Her response then was, "Kind of like getting a Black and Decker power tool … very nice, but you’re not quite sure what to do with it."

Perhaps they have both found the answers to this and other interesting questions by now.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Phil Hevener