Monday 21. December, 2015

James Packer Steps Down as Director of Crown Resorts

James Packer has announced his resignation as Director of Crown Resorts only four months after he stepped down as chairman of the board. He will remain co-chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment and Alon.

Mr Packers declined to give a reason for his resignation, but stated that he intends to devote his “energies to a number of key development projects in Sydney, Melbourne and Las Vegas as well as Crown’s online platforms.”

Ten years after Mr Packer took over the reigns of Crown, which was at the time a media conglomerate named Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. following his father’s death in 2005, and built it into a major international casino developer, he added that he “remains incredibly passionate about Crown and its world class integrated resort businesses. Crown is my biggest professional priority and represents the vast majority of my net wealth.”

In fact, Packer owns 53 percent of the A$9 billion company. This move has intensified speculation that Packer is closer to a deal with investors to privatise some of his company’s casino assets. The investment vehicle which owns Crown has been in the midst of talks with private-equity companies and pension funds regarding the possibility of a joint bid for some of the Crown’s assets. Now that Packer is no longer associated with the Crown board, he has more freedom to mount a bid.

The Crown is continuing to suffer from a drop in earnings in Macau which has been affected by the Chinese government crackdown. Gambling revenue continues to fall after 18 months. Packer stepping down as chairman of the Crown board came as a surprise in August as he announced his resignation on the same day as the company reported a drop in annual net profit of 20 percent due to its depressed Macau revenue.

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