MGM Resorts Rejects Nominees From Land & Buildings’ Litt

MGM Resorts International rejected proposed board nominees from an activist hedge-fund manager pressing the casino operator to split into a real-estate investment trust and a hotel-management firm, setting the stage for a proxy fight.

The board of MGM, the largest casino operator in Las Vegas, unanimously rejected four director nominees proposed by Land & Buildings Investment Management, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

“The board, as it is currently constructed, is very effective, independent, and diverse and has a broad range of expertise,” MGM Resorts said.

Land & Buildings said it will press ahead to elect its nominees. A proxy fight will pit the casino company against Jonathan Litt, whose Land & Buildings Investment Management values Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts at $33 a share, about 50 percent above the current price. Litt says the shares could hit $55 if the company restructures and sells assets as urged.

The rejection “sends a clear signal that the board would prefer to take part in a contentious situation rather than work collaboratively to reach a solution that is in the best interests of all shareholders,” Land & Buildings said.

MGM released its annual proxy statement Friday without scheduling a date for its shareholder meeting. The company declined to comment beyond the filing.

“The Land & Buildings proposals include concepts that the board and management have previously analyzed,” MGM Resorts said in the filing. “The company will continue to review opportunities in keeping with its commitment to identify long-term strategies to enhance shareholder value.”

MGM fell 1 percent to $22.62 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 5.8 percent this year. Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian is the company’s largest shareholder, with 19 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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