James Packer has hired investment bankers Moelis Australia to advise on any potential deal to sell his 37 per cent stake in Crown Resorts.
Australia.- A few weeks after the Blackstone Group made an offer to acquire all remaining shares in Crown Resorts, key shareholder James Packer has indicated he is open to selling his 37 per cent stake in the casino group.
Analysts believe Packer’s decision may help flush out new bidders. Crown believes Blackstone’s offer is too low.
The majority shareholder has released a statement through his private company, Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH), saying he will independently assess the merits of any proposal.
The release says: “CPH welcomes the Crown board’s announcement that it will commence a process to assess the proposal and it will also engage with relevant stakeholders including regulatory authorities about the proposal.
“CPH is open to considering, and will independently assess, any suitable transaction for Crown shares that may eventuate.”
Fitch Ratings has said that Blackstone Group’s offer to buy the company could allow Crown Resorts to keep its licence to run its new casino in Sydney’s Barangaroo district.
Packer has been heavily criticised following Former Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin’s final report, which found that the major shareholder had a “deleterious” influence over the company.
After the Bergin Inquiry, all three of James Packer’s representatives on Crown’s board resigned.
Nigel Morrison joins Crown Resorts’ board
Former Skycity Entertainment CEO Nigel Morrison has received probity clearance from gambling regulators in Victoria, NSW and WA to start his role on Crown Resorts’ board.
Morrison is the first new appointment since the Bergin Report found Crown unsuitable to hold its licence for its second Sydney casino.