Hotels

James Packer offloads half of Crown Resorts stake to Melco for $1.76bn

Billionaire James Packer has cashed in half his stake in Crown Resorts, offloading it to casino hotel company Melco Resorts & Entertainment for $1.76 billion.

The share sale was announced yesterday by Packer’s investment company, Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH), which gives Melco 19.9 per cent control of Crown Resorts.

Following completion of the sale, CPH will own approximately 26 per cent of Crown with a value of approximately $2.3 billion at $13 per share). CPH will continue to be represented on the Crown board.

CPH said in a statement that it remains “very optimistic” about the future prospects of Crown and resort facilities in Melbourne and Perth, as well as with the opening of Crown Sydney at Barangaroo, which is set for the first half of 2021.

“Crown has been a massive part of my life for the last 20 years and that absolutely remains the case today – my continuing Crown shareholding represents my single largest investment,” Packer said.

“I am still vitally interested in Crown’s success as a world-class resort and gaming business. The sale allows me to continue my long-term involvement with Crown and, at the same time, to better diversify my investment portfolio.

“I am thrilled Lawrence Ho and Melco have chosen to invest in Crown. Over the last 15 years, Lawrence has built one of the world’s leading resort and gaming companies.

“Melco’s award-winning resorts have set the standard internationally and are a testament to Lawrence’s vision and efforts. Crown is a stronger company with Lawrence and Melco as a strategic shareholder.”

The sale comes not long after US casino and hotel giant Wynn Resorts abruptly terminated takeover talks with Crown due to details of the discussions being leaked.

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