Robert Rankin is stepping down as chairman of Crown Resorts Ltd effective February 1, the Australia-based casino operator announced on Tuesday. John Alexander, currently executive deputy chairman of Crown Resorts, has been appointed as executive chairman, also with effect from February 1.
Crown Resorts said in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange that Mr Rankin would remain as a Crown Resorts director and a director of Asia-based casino developer Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
Crown Resorts has been gradually reducing its stake in Melco Crown over the past 12 months, from an initial position of 34.3 percent. Upon the conclusion of two separate deals announced last month, Crown Resorts’ stake in Melco Crown will be reduced to 11.2 percent.
On Tuesday, Crown Resorts also announced James Packer (pictured in a file photo) had been appointed as a company director, on behalf of Consolidated Press Holdings Pty Ltd, which he controls. Consolidated Press Holdings is the largest shareholder of Crown Resorts.
Mr Packer had stepped down as a director of Crown Resorts in December 2015, after resigning as chairman in August 2015. Mr Rankin – a former Deutsche Bank executive – succeeded Mr Packer as chairman at Crown Resorts.
“I am very pleased to be taking on the chairmanship of Crown Resorts at this time, particularly given our recent announcements aimed at maximising shareholder value,” Mr Alexander said in a statement included in the firm’s Tuesday release.
He added: “I am also excited about our plans to continue building our wagering and online businesses. Crown Resorts is one of Australia’s leading entertainment companies and we will work hard to ensure it continues to deliver world-class facilities and services to all its customers and guests.”
In a separate release, Consolidated Press Holdings announced Mr Rankin was also stepping down as the firm’s chief executive effective February 1. The release said the move had been “amicably and mutually agreed” upon between Mr Rankin and Mr Packer.
“I intend to put my focus and energy into building a successful and international investment management company in Pacific Point Partners,” Mr Rankin was quoted as saying in Consolidated Press Holdings’ press release. Pacific Point Partners has been previously identified in Australian media reports as an investment vehicle jointly controlled by Mr Packer and Mr Rankin.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia