Australia-based Consolidated Press Holdings Pty Ltd, the private company controlled by billionaire James Packer (pictured), sold about 35 million shares of gaming operator Crown Resorts Ltd to institutional investors, formally relinquishing the majority stake in the casino firm.
Consolidated Press said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Monday it had entered into an underwriting agreement for the sale of 4.8 percent of issued share capital in Crown Resorts, for a total consideration of AUD448.1 million (US$338.1 million). The sale was done at AUD12.80 per share, a 5 percent discount to Crown Resorts’ closing price on Friday.
The statement said Consolidated Press would be left with a 48.2 percent stake in Crown Resorts’ share capital.
“The sale is being conducted as part of Consolidated Press’ financing and capital management strategy,” added the statement. Consolidated Press did not elaborate on the reason for the sale or identify the buyers.
He also resigned from his position as co-chairman of Asian casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, as Crown Resorts in May sold down its stake in Melco Crown to 27.4 percent from 34.3 percent.
The sale by Consolidated Press comes two months after Crown Resorts announced plans to spin off its international investments. The casino firm in June also said it would explore the possibility of an initial public offering of 49 percent of a property trust for some of its Australian hotels.
Consolidated Press said in Monday’s statement that it “remains supportive of Crown Resorts’ recently announced initiatives to increase shareholder value”. “Consolidated Press remains deeply committed to Crown Resorts and is excited about the future of the company,” it added.
Crown Resorts reported a net profit of AUD948.8 million for the year ended June 30, supported by an AUD602 million gain from selling down the stake in Melco Crown.
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