Shareholders of U.S. casino firm MGM Resorts International – majority owner of Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd – have voted in favour of all 11 candidates proposed as directors of the parent firm, a company spokesman told the Associated Press news agency.
The poll was held at MGM Resorts’ annual general meeting on Thursday. The firm is expected to release the official vote tally later in a securities filing.
According to a proxy filing to Nasdaq dated April 13, the list of director candidates included James Murren, the chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts.
A Connecticut-based hedge fund that has argued shareholder value in MGM Resorts has been mismanaged relative to industry peers said on May 19 that it was ending its proxy fight with the casino operator and withdrawing its own nominees as alternative directors.
Land and Buildings Investment Management LLC had proposed three alternative candidates for the MGM Resorts board.
In an announcement on March 17, Land and Buildings had urged the separation of MGM Resorts’ real estate holdings from MGM Resorts’ operating business through the formation of a real estate investment trust (REIT). MGM Resorts – which initially said it was opposed to such a move as not representing the best interests of shareholders – subsequently said it was hiring financial advisors to evaluate such a separation.
Mr Murren reportedly told shareholders at the meeting that the company has been looking at the REIT structure since 2007 and continues to evaluate strategies to boost shareholder value, MGM Resorts’ spokesman Clark Dumont told AP.
Some investment analysts have noted that shares of MGM Resorts have outperformed the Market Vectors Gaming Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) since Land and Buildings started its lobbying in March. That particular ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible the share price and yield performance of the S-Network Global Gaming Index.
According to Reuters, companies eligible for inclusion in the index should be principally engaged in the global gaming industry; derive more than 50 percent of revenues from it; have market capitalisation exceeding US$200 million, and should have three-month average daily turnover greater than US$1 million.
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