Packer sells stake in Melco Crown Entertainment

Crown Resorts seeks to limit its exposure in the declining Macau casino market.

James Packer has sold Crown Resorts’ US$800 million stake in joint venture Melco Crown Entertainment.

Macau.- Australian casino tycoon James Packer has sold an US$800 million stake in joint venture Melco Crown Entertainment cutting its share from 34.3 percent to 27.4 percent.

The Australian company committed to a share repurchase scheme with venture partner Melco International, whose majority shareholder is Lawrence Ho. After the transaction Crown Resorts will limit its representation on Melco Crown Entertainment’s board to two members. James Packer will no longer hold his position Co-Chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment, but will remain as an advisor to the Asian gambling operator.

Last August, Packer stepped down as Executive Chairman of the company, with Deutsche Bank executive Robert Rankin taking over the leadership position. Back then, Packer and Crown Resorts governance noted that the company would undertake its largest executive shake-up whilst the operator looked to regain its position following a 41 percent decline in profits to US$385 million.

It has transpired that Packer and his advisors are aiming to limit Crown Resorts’ exposure in the declining Macau casino market. Crown Resorts new strategy will focus its growth on Australian casino developments as Packer wants to temporarily shelve international projects.