Monday 29. August, 2016

Packer Reduces Majority Stake in Crown Resorts

Australian casino mogul, James Packer, has sold 35 million shares in Crown Resorts, relinquishing his majority stake in the company.

At a cost of $12.80 per share, the 35 million shares (approximately 4.8 percent of the company) were sold by Mr Packer through his privately owned company, Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH), for $448 million. After the sale, Consolidated Press will remain the largest shareholder, holding around 48.2 percent of the company.

Mr Packer sold the stake in order to pay down debt following a settlement with his sister Gretel to the divide the Packer family assets. The settlement was negotiated in October 2015 and gave Ms Packer a $1.25 billion package of cash and preference shareholdings in CPH. This was the first settlement of the inheritance that has come almost a decade after their father, Kerry Packer, passed away.

In a letter released by legal counsel and company secretary of Consolidated Press, Catherine Davies, she stressed that the group “remains deeply committed to Crown Resorts and is excited about the future for the company.”

“The sale is being conducted as part of CPH’s financing and capital management strategy.”

“CPH remains supportive of Crown Resorts’ recently announced initiatives to increase shareholder value, being the new dividend policy, proposed demerger and the continued evaluation of a potential REIT (real estate investment trust).

The sale has come two months after Crown announced they would be splitting their domestic and international businesses under a major restructure. This would include a US$2 billion stake in Melco Crown Entertainment, as well as Crown’s proposed Las Vegas casino.

Mr Packer has also been diminishing his public role in Crown Resorts. In August 2015, he retired as chairman of Crown Resorts and in December he quit his position as director of the board.

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