Billionaire James Packer’s reappointment to the board of directors of Crown Resorts, flagged in January, become effective today after the final bit of paperwork was completed.
Packer, the largest shareholder at 48.2% through his private company Consolidated Press Holdings, in January decided to rejoin the board of directors and take a more hands-on approach to his holding in gaming business Crown Resorts.
Packer is a former chairman of the company.
The company said the appointment of Packer as a director of Crown has become effective today following “the receipt of all necessary consents and approvals”.
The board also appointed Guy Jalland, a corporate lawyer and former Packer adviser, as a director.
“I would like to welcome James back to the Board of Crown. Crown values the experience and contribution that each of James and Guy Jalland will bring to the Board,” said Crown’s executive chairman, John Alexander.
Crown Resorts faces a number of issues, including a decline in VIP gamblers from China following a crackdown there which saw 18 Crown staff arrested for allegedly spruiking gambling.
In February the company posted a 75% rise in net profit to $359.14 million for the six months to December.
However, normalised net profit after tax was $191.3 million, down 9.1%. This excludes a gain from significant items of $176.3 million, mainly from the sale of shares in Melco Crown Entertainment, which has the troubled Macau gaming holding.
Crown Resorts has an agreement with Melco International Development, controlled by Lawrence Ho, the son of gambling pioneer Stanley Ho, for the sale of 13.4% of Melco Crown Entertainment at $US6 a share. Crown’s shareholding will be reduced to 14% from 27.4%.
The deal will bring in $1.6 billion, which Crown will use to cut debt and return funds to shareholders.