U.S.-based casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd says former chairman and chief executive Steve Wynn will not be entitled to any severance package following his decision to step down. That is according to a separation agreement between the two sides, reached last Thursday.
“The separation agreement terminates Mr Wynn’s previous employment agreement with the company and confirms that Mr Wynn is not entitled to any severance payment or other compensation from the company under the employment agreement,” Wynn Resorts said in a filing on Friday.
According to previous media reports, citing a shareholder lawsuit filed this month, Mr Wynn’s employment contract reportedly included a US$330 million severance stipulation.
Under the separation agreement, Mr Wynn “agrees not to compete against the company for a period of two years and to provide reasonable cooperation and assistance to the company in connection with any private litigation or arbitration and to the board of directors of the company or any committee of the board in connection with any investigation by the company related to his service with the company.”
Mr Wynn stepped down as the casino group’s chairman and chief executive on February 6. The move followed media reports detailing allegations of sexual misconduct made against Mr Wynn by former Wynn Resorts employees. Mr Wynn has denied the allegations.
Wynn Resorts said last week it had hired an outside legal firm to “assist” a committee formed of some of the company’s independent directors reviewing sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Wynn.
Wynn Resorts – with gaming operations in Las Vegas, Nevada – is the parent company of Macau-based casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd.
The separation agreement between Wynn Resorts and Mr Wynn also states that Mr Wynn’s lease of a villa as his personal residence at casino resort Wynn Las Vegas will terminate no later than June 1. “Until such date Mr Wynn shall continue to pay rent at the fair market value previously established by the company based on an independent third-party expert opinion,” the filing stated.
The company also plans to terminate Mr Wynn’s current healthcare coverage package at the end of 2018, and to cut administrative support to the former executive on May 31.
“Additionally, in order to conduct any sales of company shares in an orderly fashion in the event that Mr Wynn is permitted to and elects to sell any shares that he owns, the company has agreed to enter into a registration rights agreement with Mr Wynn, with Mr Wynn to reimburse the company for its reasonable expenses,” the filing said.
It added: “Pursuant to such registration rights agreement, Mr Wynn may not sell during any quarter after the date of such agreement more than one-third of the company shares he holds as of the date of such agreement.”
Brokerage Deutsche Bank Securities Inc noted that Mr Wynn would eventually be allowed to sell his shares pending a separate decision involving a stockholders’ agreement that includes his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn.
It was announced a fortnight ago that Mr Wynn would no longer consider himself or his ex-wife as bound by a 2010 agreement he had contended gave him the right to vote her shares with his. According to company filings, Mr Wynn currently holds 11.8 percent of the firm.
The separation agreement announced on Friday also states that “in the event that the company ceases to use the Wynn name and trademark, it will provide written notice thereof to [Mr Wynn]“.
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"Our main focus is just making sure – and particularly within Australia – to the maximum extent possible, that we can have uniformity [among different jurisdictions]"
Chief executive of the Australia-based Gaming Technologies Association