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NEWS 15 December 2016

Crown ditches China with sell-off of Crown’s overseas casinos

By Caroline Watson
Casino magnate James Packer has decided to scale back the international ambitions of his gambling empire in a strategically motivated shift that will allow him to focus on the success of his Australian Business.

Australia’s biggest casino company has announced its decision to abandon plans to spin off international assets and has halved its stake in the venture’s troublesome Chinese business, as Crown is currently still dealing with the arrests of senior employees in China back in October.

Crown Resorts Ltd reported first half revenue fell 12% due to the reduction in VIP gamblers after announcing plans to raise A$1.6bn by selling shares in Macau-based Company Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.

As well as this, the Sydney-listen company said in a regulatory filing that it will not proceed “at this time” with its huge $2bn Alon casino development project in Las Vegas and plans to cancel a demerger or its international assets, although it would still spin off some Australian hotel properties.

Crown Resorts chairman Robert Rankin says: “These business decisions are strategic and for the long-term with underpin the Company’s future over the next decade.

“Today’s announcements will maximise value for the benefit of all Crown Resorts shareholders, allowing us to redeploy capital to fund high quality growth projects as well as adopting a number of capital management initiatives.

“This distribution of proceeds is for the benefit of all Crown Resorts shareholders and strikes the right balance between debt reduction and the company’s capital management program.”

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