Australian billionaire and Vice-Chairman of Crown Resorts, James Packer has sold 37.9 per cent of the company to Melco International. The sale comes as a strategy by the Crown Resorts who are trying by all means to limit their exposure to the Macau. Macau is a Chinese gaming mecca and reports have surfaced linking Crown to a big debt in the mecca.
Melco International, the company that is currently in control of a Chinese businessman, Lawrence Ho, is said to become the biggest shareholder after the sale. The company that is currently known as Crown Resorts will also change the name to Melco Crown Entertainment as soon as the sale has been completed.
It has also emerged that the investors of the heavily indebted Australian casino operator have welcomed the sale. This also meant that their shares have surged up by 5% on and are now trading at AU$12, 47.
James Packer leaves Crown Resorts in style
The current Vice-Chairman of Crown Resorts, who is also the son of the late media tycoon Kerry Packer, has also announced that he will step down as Vice-Chairperson. After the sale goes through, Packer is set to be appointed the deputy chair of the Macau operator.
The exit of Packer from the Crown Resorts means he leaves a good legacy in the Australian operator. Over the past 10 years, Packer, who owns 53% of Crown Resorts, has successfully led the joint venture between Crown’s Macau with the companies owned by Lawrence Ho.
Throughout the same 10 year period, the Macau’s entertainment sector expanded greatly with the assistance of the liberalisation of the gaming sector and the high number of Chinese tourists. Crown resorts will likely focus on bringing Chinese high rollers to Australia in the coming months. This will coincide with the addition of more Crown Resorts expansions in Australia.