Tilman Fertitta acquires 6.1% stake in Wynn Resorts; becomes company’s second-largest shareholder

Tilman Fertitta acquires 6.1% stake in Wynn Resorts; becomes company’s second-largest shareholder

Houston mogul Tilman Fertitta has acquired a big ownership stake in casino heavyweight Wynn Resorts. The move grants the billionaire an immediate foothold in the Strip’s casino industry, as the businessman moves forward with his plans to build a towering resort on Las Vegas Boulevard.

According to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, retrieved by Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fertitta acquired 6.9 million shares in Las Vegas-based Wynn, equal to a 6.1% stake. The filing says the “date of event” was October 19, the same day on which the mogul secured approvals from commissioners to develop a 43-story hotel-casino on the Strip.

The stake acquisition makes Fertitta the second-largest individual shareholder in the casino operator, reports The Wall Street Journal. The securities filing did not disclose how much the businessman paid for his ownership stake, but Wynn’s stock price has tumbled over the past year. It closed Friday at $58.30, down from $90.78 a year earlier.

Wynn Las Vegas

The newly disclosed position adds to the billionaire’s extensive range of holdings across entertainment and leisure. The mogul, owner and CEO of Fertitta Entertainment, oversees a corporate empire that includes the NBA’s Houston Rockets, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casinos, and restaurant chains such as Del Frisco’s and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Fertitta’s roughly 6.9 million shares of Wynn Resorts give him a $403.3 million position in the firm, based on Friday’s market close of $58.30 a share. This would make him the second-largest individual shareholder of the casino operator behind only Elaine Wynn, who co-founded the company with her former husband Steve Wynn, notes WSJ.

Shares of Wynn closed up 9.6% in Monday trading, at $63.90. The disclosure comes as investors await the latest round of quarterly earnings reports from casino operators, which have so far said that demand remains strong despite surging inflation. 

Wynn Resorts also relies on its Macau operations and has suffered this year from the Chinese government’s strict “Covid zero” policies, with much uncertainty looming over the future of the gambling hub’s economy. In pre-pandemic 2019, Macau supplied nearly 70% of revenue for Wynn.

Fertitta also acquired a chunk of Las Vegas’ famed casino corridor this year. The mogul bought 6 acres at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue in June for $270 million, in a sale that included a restaurant building, a cluster of souvenir shops, and a 1960s-era closed Travelodge motel property. He plans to build an upscale resort on the site.

Clark County documents show the 2,420-room project would include restaurants, convention space, a spa, a wedding chapel, an auto showroom, and a roughly 2,500-seat theater. It would also include suites and villas, VIP salons and a bar and lounge for high-limit gambling. There is no groundbreaking date for the resort yet, which is roughly 1.5 miles south of Wynn’s two luxury hotel towers on Las Vegas Boulevard: Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.