WYNN's donation to Macau U. still court matter

Mar 4, 2013 9:43 AM

U.S. District Judge James Mahan earlier this year dismissed a lawsuit brought by Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada that alleged wrongdoing in the donation of $135 million to the University of Macau by CEO Steve Wynn and the other directors of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN).

In his ruling, Judge Mahan said the allegations weren’t convincing in showing that the directors did anything wrong in making the donation. But, he said the aggrieved parties could try again.

On Saturday, the Louisiana Municipal Employees’ Retirement System asked the court for more time to file an amended complaint. The fund’s complaint said that Wynn Resorts had agreed to the proposed extension.

The fund said a new suit will be filed on March 18.

When the gift was announced by the company, the indication was that all directors, except Okada, had approved the donation. However, Okada sued, saying in effect, that the donation was in some way an attempt to curry favor with Macau’s gaming regulators.

Okada has since resigned from the board, just one day before the shareholders overwhelmingly voted to dump him. At one time, Okada was  the largest single stockholder in Wynn Resorts Ltd. He saw his shares redeemed by the board of directors last year at a 30 percent discount to existing value.

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