MGM Re­sorts hires cri­sis man­age­ment firm

Joele Frank cho­sen to re­ply to in­quiries

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - #VEGASSTRONG: HOPE AND HEALING - By Todd Prince Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal

MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional has hired a lead­ing cri­sis man­age­ment firm as law­suits start to roll in fol­low­ing the Oct. 1 shoot­ing at one of its prop­er­ties.

The casino op­er­a­tor has picked New York-based cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions firm Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brim­mer Katcher to as­sist in re­spond­ing to in­quires from me­dia and in­vestors re­gard­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Man­dalay Bay shoot­ing.

MGM faces po­ten­tially large dam­ages if plain­tiffs can prove the shoot­ing was fore­see­able and that its se­cu­rity per­son­nel failed to re­act ap­pro­pri­ately.

Paige Gasper, who was hit by a bul­let dur­ing the shoot­ing, filed a law­suit suit against MGM on Tues­day, the first vic­tim to do so.

Joele Frank, founded in 2000, has helped com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Her­bal­ife, Chipo­tle, Hertz and Ya­hoo fight off ac­tivist in­vestors such as Carl Ic­ahn, Bill Ack­man, Dan Loeb and Jeff Smith in re­cent years.

Ack­man, whose hedge fund Pershing Square Cap­i­tal fought Her­bal­ife, called Joele Frank “the best at­tack PR firm in the coun­try” dur­ing a

2014 speech, the New York Post re­ported. Pershing Square de­clined to com­ment when con­tacted by the Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal.

“They are con­sid­ered one of the two or three best at this par­tic­u­lar kind of work,” said Paul Holmes, pub­lisher of the pub­lic re­la­tions

in­dus­try site The Holmes Re­port. “They do ad­vo­cate their clients’ po­si­tions quite fiercely when nec­es­sary.”

Joele Frank is one of a dozen com­mu­ni­ca­tions firms that MGM reg­u­larly uses to help with ma­jor com­mu­ni­ca­tions projects. Joele Frank — best known for its merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions ad­vi­sory busi­ness — as­sisted MGM with its pub­lic re­la­tions cam­paign dur­ing the takeover of Man­dalay Bay in 2005. Cae­sars En­ter­tain­ment Corp. hired the firm in 2015 dur­ing its debt re­struc­tur­ing.

MGM’S seven-per­son cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions team has been over­whelmed with me­dia in­quiries since the shoot­ing, which gained in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion and has ranked among the top U.S. nightly news sto­ries for the past two weeks.

Joele Frank will re­spond to me­dia in­quires specif­i­cally deal­ing with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­port to MGM’S le­gal team.

MGM de­clined to dis­cuss Joele Frank’s com­pen­sa­tion.

Con­tact Todd Prince at 702-3830386 or tprince@re­viewjour­nal.com. Fol­low @tod­dprincetv on Twit­ter.

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