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James Packer sells $1.76b stake in Crown Resorts

ABC News logo ABC News 30/05/2019

James Packer has sold almost half his stake in Crown Resorts for $1.76 billion to a Macau-based entertainment company.

Consolidated Press Holdings, Mr Packer's private investment company, confirmed on Thursday night it had sold 19.99 per cent of its shareholding in Crown Resorts to Melco Resorts and Entertainment.

It was sold for an aggregate purchase price of $1.76 billion, equivalent to $13 per share.

Once the share sale is completed, CPH will own about 26 per cent of Crown, worth about $2.3 billion, and will remain represented on the Crown board.

James Packer at Crown Casino in Melbourne © ABC NEWS James Packer at Crown Casino in Melbourne Mr Packer said Crown was a stronger company with Melco as a strategic shareholder.

"Crown has been a massive part of my life for the last 20 years and that absolutely remains the case today — my continuing Crown shareholding represents my single largest investment," Mr Packer said in a statement.

"I am still vitally interested in Crown's success as a world-class resort and gaming business. The sale allows me to continue my long term involvement with Crown and at the same time to better diversify my investment portfolio."

He said he was "thrilled" Lawrence Ho and Melco had chosen to invest in Crown.

Mr Packer resigned from the board of his family company in March last year, citing mental health issues.

The past few years have seen Crown forced to deal with plunging profits, business expansion woes and the arrest of more than a dozen of its employees in China for the illegal promotion of gambling.

CPH will lodge a Notice of Change in Substantial Holding both with Crown and the Australian Securities Exchange.

Pictures: Love Lost: James Packer's former flames

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