The gambling industry witnessed the final decision of casino tycoon Steve Wynn to sell 4.1 million of his shares in the company he founded in 2002 following a whirlpool of controversy around him. This Thursday brought the news that two existing institutional shareholders have purchased the remaining portion of his shares, meaning that the gambling mogul now has officially exited the company. Market rival casino operator Galaxy Entertainment also made a move and purchased shares in the company.
The last two days have seen a rapid development of events which was forecasted by some experts in the field, but few people were prepared for the dynamic way they took. These turbulent for the company times caused quite the speculations as to what would the wisest move be and whether Mr. Wynn should exit the company or remain the biggest shareholder. Following a time for weighing all his options, the founder of Wynn Resorts decided Wednesday to sell less than half of his shares in open market transactions, effectively making him the third biggest shareholder in the company.
The price at which he sold the shares amounts to $180 per share, but shortly after that there was a drop of 0.8 percent and at the moment the company’s shares are trading at $177.50. Back in January, before any sexual misconduct allegations began swirling around the casino tycoon Steve Wynn the company’s shares trades at more than $200 per share. As it was later announced by Wynn Resorts in a filing later on Thursday this sale amounted to $738.9 million. This is how Mr. Wynn remained with only 8 million shares in the company, ready to sell them to a potential investor.
Rapid Pace of Events
Later this Thursday it became clear that the remaining part of the shares will be sold to two long-term investors in the company, both currently owning shares in Wynn Resorts. This purchase resulted in a combined $1.4 billion paid by the investors for the said portion of the company. However, for the moment no additional information regarding their identity has been publicly announced. At the moment after all recent changes, it is known that Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife Elaine Wynn owns a 9.3-percent stake in the company, whereas Vanguard Group has as much as 8.5 percent to its name.
In a surprising turn of events, Macau-based casino developer Galaxy Entertainment Group which is a rival of Wynn Macau Ltd. has decided to purchase 5.3 million primary shares in Wynn Resorts amid the turmoil. The price at which the casino developer purchased them amounts to $175 per share, which after the tally resulted in $927.5 million of gross proceeds to Wynn Resorts. The shares amount to some five percent which makes Galaxy Entertainment one of the substantial shareholders in the company.
Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. follow closely the recent happenings and their conclusion is that in the future Galaxy might work towards potentially acquiring Wynn Macau and this initial step is paving its way for achieving this goal, as its interest towards developing in the region is visible.
Thursday brought the speculations that casino operator Genting Bhd. might be eyeing the opportunity to finally enter the gambling field in Macau with the help of Wynn Resorts shares purchase. Back in 2002, the company could not bag one of the casino licenses on offer and as it seems it will have to wait for a better opportunity.