Wynn says Okada has no right to nominate board members

LOS ANGELES Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:11pm EDT

Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada listens during an interview at one of his restaurants in Hong Kong May 15, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada listens during an interview at one of his restaurants in Hong Kong May 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O) said on Tuesday that Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada had no right to nominate members to its board since his company, Aruze USA, was stripped of its 20 percent stake in Wynn in February.

Okada, who is locked in a legal fight with casino mogul and Wynn chairman Steve Wynn, on Monday stepped up efforts to elect two board members by accusing the board of doing little to stop Steve Wynn from "questionable actions" for his "personal financial and control goals."

Okada, who filed suit in March challenging the forced redemption of his 20 percent stake, said he would nominate Yale law professor Jonathan Macey and former CBS Corp (CBS.N) chief financial officer Fredric Reynolds to the board. The annual meeting is set for Nov 2.

Wynn on Tuesday said it rejected the nominations as invalid, calling the effort an attempt to divert attention from the issues facing Okada and Aruze.

"Given the fact that Aruze was ejected seven months ago as a Wynn shareholder based on conduct unacceptable for a gaming licensee, it has absolutely no rights as a shareholder to nominate directors and its invalid nominations have been rejected on this basis," the company said in a statement.

(Reporting By Susan Zeidler; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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