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James Packer Steps Down as Director of Crown Resorts
- December 21, 2015 By Oliver Young -
Businessman James Packer quit his job as a director of Crown Resorts Limited, after resigning as a chairman of the Australian-based casino operator in August this year. Media reports speculate that he might take the company private.
Mr. Packer announced today that he will resign from Crown Resorts board to focus more on his new executive role. The news increased the shares of the company by 5.7 percent higher. In the early afternoon they were traded at $12.01. The casino mogul owns 53 percent of the casino operator.
Nevertheless, Mr. Packer remains cochairman of Melco Crown Entertainment focused on the Macau market as well as cochairman of the holding company Alon in Las Vegas.
No Clear Reason for His Resignation
His decision to resign is effective immediately, however, Mr. Packer didn’t give a clear reason for his resignation. There are several speculations about it, but nothing is certain. After he resigned from his chairman role four months ago, Packer was replaced by Rob Rankin, who was previously working as a CEO at Consolidated Press Holdings, a Packer family business.
“After the smooth transition of Rob Rankin, I made the decision to resign as a director of Crown Resorts,” he said in a statement. “From now I’m going to focus on my new role with Crown as I told the shareholders when I stepped down as chairman.” He plans to focus on several key development products in Melbourne, Las Vegas and Sydney including on the online casino operations of Crown.
Right after it open its doors, the shares of Crown Resort traded 5.6 percent at $12.26. The shares, however, dropped down to 1/5 of their value this year because of the slump in revenue in Macau cased by the government’s action against corruption. The company has 1/3 stake in Melco Crown Entertainment, which opened a Studio City in Macau quite recently.
Mr. Rankin, on the other hand, announced that doors are open for Packer to return to the Crown board any time in the future.
The World’s Biggest Casino Operator
Packer took over Crown Resorts when his father died in 2005. After several years he transformed it into one of the biggest casino operators in the world. However, he surprised everybody when he decided to quit the chairman position after Crown delivered a somewhat mixed fiscal year report.
This previous week, the shares of Crown surged after media reports that Packer is in negotiations with partners regarding taking certain Crown assets private. This resulted in increase of the value of shares.
The businessman raised up his Crown stake by 22 million in November and their reported worth is about $260 million. With this Packer increased his voting rights from 50.01 percent to 53.01 percent. According to the BRW Rich List, the share wealth of Packer is valued at approximately $5 billion this year.