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Australia – Packer open to selling his 37 per cent stake in Crown

By - 12 April 2021

Crown Resorts majority shareholder James Packer has said he is open to selling his 37 per cent stake in the Australian casino operator.

The announcement from Mr Packer’s private company, Consolidated Press Holdings follows Blackstone Group’s bid of $6.2bn to buy the operator last month.

CPH said: “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.”

In other Crown news, former Skycity Entertainment CEO Nigel Morrison has been cleared by gambling regulators in Victoria, NSW and WA to join Crown Resorts’ board, becoming the first new appointment since the conclusion of the Bergin Report which deemed Crown unsuitable to hold its licence for its Barangaroo casino.

He will be joined by former SkyCity Entertainment Group Deputy Chair Bruce Carter on the Board of Directors.

“Bruce brings to the Crown Board the ideal blend of commercial, governance and gaming sector expertise and is respected across Australia for his contribution to corporate and government roles,” said Crown’s Executive Chairman, Helen Coonan. “Attracting someone of Bruce’s calibre to the Board is an endorsement of our strategy, ambition and commitment to reform. Bruce’s appointment will enhance our governance as we continue to implement our ambitious reform program. I am determined to maintain the pace of change right across the business and remain committed to further board renewal.”

Since the Bergin report concluded in February, Crown has seen CEO Ken Barton and General Counsel Mary Manos step down along with Guy Jalland, Michael Johnston, Andrew Demetriou, Harold Mitchell and John Poynton.

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