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Melco sells Crown stake, senior executives to depart

By Tim Poole

Melco Resorts & Entertainment has sold its 9.99% stake in Crown Resorts to The Blackstone Group.

The casino operator only acquired shares in its Australian counterpart last June, with an announcement coming in late May.

However, a public inquiry into Crown Resorts, which has been running since January, has prompted Melco to re-evaluate its interest in the company.

Among other issues, the inquiry is assessing the Melco transaction itself and whether it constituted a breach of Crown’s license for the Crown Sydney development.

Melco is additionally looking to the sale as a potential source of liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To that end, Melco Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho will also forgo his salary for the remainder of 2020, according to GGRAsia.

The report states a number of unspecified senior executives will, too, be leaving the company "only due to the current state of the business environment."

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