Crown Resorts Sells $800M Stake in Melco Crown Entertainment
Crown Resorts, the casino group controlled by James Packer, has sold an $800 million stake in Melco Crown Entertainment in an attempt to limit exposure to Macau and pay down debt.
It cuts Crown’s stake in MCE from 34.3% to 27.4% and makes Melco International the single largest shareholder with 37.9%. When the sale is complete James Packer will step down as co-chair of Melco and be made deputy chair of the Macau operator.
The sale comes as Macau has seen a steady decline in revenues every month since June 2014. The shares are being sold at a price of $15.50 compared to their flotation price of $19 in 2007. Crown has said that it will initially use the proceeds of the sale to cut Crown’s debt. The company has had a difficult year due to its exposure to Macau, fast rising debt and planning delays to its new flagship Sydney casino project.