“Acquisition target? Absolutely,” said Matthew Ossolinski, who is the chairman of Ossolinski Holdings.
“These are some of the most prestigious casino properties in all of Asia, and this would be a jewel in the crown for a large Asian conglomerate which would be happy to, I think, pay a premium to have this sort of prestigious trophy buy,” Ossolinski said during an interview.
Ossolinski also added that this was nothing new, stating that Wynn Resorts “has always been a takeover target, as in Las Vegas Sands.”
However, he also believed that the possibility of sealing a deal may have changed with Wynn’s resignation.
“The difference is that he’s gone and he wouldn’t be there to fight a potential takeover,” he stated, adding that nobody would be standing in the way of a potential acquisition. Ossolinski owns a global emerging markets fund that invests in the gaming sector.
Billy Vassiliadis, chief executive of R&R Partners, has said that he believed Wynn brands could succeed even without its namesake.
“The product they have stands apart from the man, and the Wynn brand stands for luxury and service,” said Vassiliadis.
Wynn Resorts announced that Matt Madox, who had served as the company’s president, will take the helm as CEO. Meanwhile, Ossolinski also remained optimistic about the position of the Wynn brands in handling the change in leadership.
“No global gaming company is better positioned with succession planning than Wynn Resorts. So there’s going to be a very smooth transition here and almost seamless from the customers’ point of view,” Ossolinski said.
On the other hand, Hong Kong-based Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Vitaly Umansky offered a less positive opinion about the fate of the company, saying that Wynn’s shoes “will not be easy to fill.”
“While, theoretically, the old adage that everyone is replaceable may be generally true, the Wynn dynamic is much more complicated and uncertain. Steve Wynn is WYNN (the company),” Umansky wrote in a note on Wednesday.
Allegations and the Sudden Exit
Steve Wynn’s resignation as CEO came after he served more than three decades in the company. The 76-year-old billionaire announced his exit following an unscheduled meeting of Wynn Resorts’ board of directors on Tuesday evening.
“Elvis has left the building,” wrote the global investment firm Jefferies in a note. “Mr. Wynn’s value to the company is arguably profound as its chief visionary and diplomat. As such we do not believe the company can grow at the same trajectory nor can it maintain its cutting edge position.”
Prior to his exit, Wynn’s hold over the company drew flak after an in-depth investigation last month revealed that the ex-CEO had been accused of harassment of female employees for decades. The investigation also alleged that Wynn had exposed himself and sexually harassed some other women.
The allegations led to multiple shareholder lawsuits, plus four additional investigations into Wynn and the Wynn Resorts' operation.
On Thursday, Wynn Resorts’ shares rebounded by jumping 8.6 percent, with Wall Street investors hoping that the billionaire’s surprise resignation would stave off any incoming licensing or regulatory fallouts.
Meanwhile, Wynn is expected to maintain a physical appearance at the company. He currently resides in the villas of the Wynn hotel. Many analysts also suggested that many of Wynn Resorts’ top executives remain loyal to the ex-CEO, in spite of the ongoing investigations and allegations.
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