James Packer has come clean about the selling of his stake in Echo, saying he want to focus on his plan to build another luxury hotel and casino at Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct, free from any association with the rival entertainment group.
The sale of his $264 million stake seeks to remove speculation about any role that Crown’s 10 per cent stake might play in the new hotel.
Packer’s intentions are more than clear.
In a statement, reported by the AFR, he said: “Our objective and our ambition is to build the world’s best six-star hotel resort on Sydney Harbour. We are working as hard as we can to make this goal a reality.”
However, Packer’s dreams lie firmly in the hands of the NSW government as the sale has taken place before the outcome of his pitch to develop the property.
The fight to build new casino facilities in Sydney continues and the stakes for both parties are high. While Packer thinks Sydney’s tourist and locals want a new high-rolling casino, a $1 billion hotel and an invitation-only gaming venue, Echo is fighting to retain its exclusive casino licence until 2019, and further develop The Star and surrounding tourist areas.
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