Elaine Wynn (pictured) is suing her ex-husband Steve Wynn in Nevada state court regarding control of her 9.4 percent stake in Wynn Resorts Ltd, the casino company he founded and chairs, according to documents filed on Monday. At current market values Ms Wynn’s stake is worth nearly US$900 million.
She is seeking a judicial determination that a January 2010 stockholders’ agreement that prohibits her from transferring stock that she owns without Mr Wynn’s permission, and gives him all rights to vote her stock, is invalid and unenforceable.
She also accused Mr Wynn of orchestrating her ousting last year from the company’s board as “punishment for asking too many questions” about the company’s governance.
Ms Wynn also accused Mr Wynn of seeking to exert “full and perpetual control” over her life and legacy, of inhibiting her ability to make proper estate planning for the couple’s children and grandchildren and of “reckless risk-taking”.
The company issued a statement on Monday countering the claims, calling them “falsehoods and distortions”.
“Throughout her campaign, in which she directly communicated with shareholders via numerous personal letters, she never once raised the new allegations set forth in her recent complaint. Her allegations regarding the use of company assets are without merit,” stated Wynn Resorts.
Mr Wynn also issued a separate statement via a personal spokesman.
“Ms Wynn is a disappointed ex-wife who is seeking to tarnish the reputation of Wynn Resorts and Steve Wynn and their daughters,” it said.
Ms Wynn controls 9.4 percent of Wynn Resorts’ stock, while Mr Wynn controls 11.8 percent, according to a proxy filing by the company on March 4.
Wynn Resorts operates casino properties including the Wynn Las Vegas resort, Encore at Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau, and is building a second Macau resort, the US$4.1-billion Wynn Palace, currently scheduled for a June 25 opening.
The Wynns married in 1963, divorced in 1986, remarried in 1991, and divorced again in 2010, according to court papers.
Ms Wynn’s lawsuit also names as defendants Wynn Resorts and the firm’s general counsel Kimmarie Sinatra.
The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, including for Mr Wynn’s alleged failure to support Ms Wynn’s re-election to the board.
Wynn Resorts said in Monday’s statement: “Although Mr Wynn voted his shares pursuant to their stockholders agreement, Elaine Wynn lost the election, with only 7 percent of the votes cast for her by her fellow shareholders.”
“Ms Wynn’s latest allegations regarding our board, its composition and its independence are simply not true and are rehashed from her previous, unfounded statements made during her proxy campaign [in 2015],” the firm added.
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”Assuming that our [Tigre de Cristal] phase two project and the other future operators’ development plans remain on track, we may see the benefits of a ‘cluster’ effect [in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone] as early as 2021”
Summit Ascent, lead developer of Tigre de Cristal