MGM Resorts International director Keith Meister spent more than $11.9 million Tuesday in a second acquisition of company shares according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Meister, the general partner of Corvex Management, a New York-based hedge fund, bought 1 million shares of MGM at an average price of $11.91, according to a Form 4 filing. A day earlier, Meister spent $5.66 million to acquired 500,000 shares at an average price of $11.32.
Through Corvex, Meister controls more than 22.4 million shares of MGM.
MGM shares closed at $11.77 on the New York Stock Exchange, down 3 cents of 0.25%.
Meister was considered an activist investor in the company, with Corvex acquiring a 3% ownership stake before he joined MGM’s board in January 2019. The same month, Meister was named to an “ad-hoc” committee of the MGM board to evaluate the company’s real estate portfolio and “make recommendations.”
The other committee members were John Kilroy Jr., and Paul Salem, who became the chairman when Jim Murren departed the company on March 22.
The committee endorsed the outright sale of Circus Circus Las Vegas to Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin and the sales/leasebacks of Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas to joint ventures involving Blackstone Real Estate Investment Trust.
Salem on Monday spent $3.92 million to acquire 340,000 shares on MGM.
Meister gained notoriety on Wall Street as a key associate of corporate raider Carl Icahn up until 2011 when he launched Corvex in 2011. According to the website Investopedia.com, the hedge fund was started with seed capital from a platform backed by George Soros.
The company made activist moves over the years with Yum! Brands, Inc. – which owns KFC – American Realty Capital Properties, Inc., and Allergan plc.
Meister had previous gaming industry involvement with American Casino & Entertainment Properties, the previous owner of four southern Nevada casinos, including the Stratosphere in downtown Las Vegas. American Casino has been controlled by Icahn but was sold to an investment arm of Goldman Sachs, which sold the company to Golden Entertainment in 2017.
In a January 2019 statement, Meister said Corvex and MGM Resorts have discussed “driving profitable growth” during talks “over the last several months.”
“With my experience in the gaming industry and other similarly situated companies, I can be helpful in amplifying these efforts. I expect to be a long-term investor in MGM as we work collaboratively to build an even greater company,” Meister said.
Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.