James Packer has resigned as a director of Crown Resorts as talks continue with investors to possibly privatise his global gaming empire.
Yesterday’s announcement was not a surprise and follows Packer’s decision in August to retire as chairman of Crown to concentrate on the company’s overseas interests.
As part of the transition away from the day-to-day running of Crown, Packer will remain as co-chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment and Alon.
Packer highlighted that the “smooth transition” by Rob Rankin into the Crown chairman’s position had ensured a “stable and cohesive functioning of the board”.
“Now is the right time for me to focus my endeavours on my new role with Crown, as I outlined to shareholders when I stepped aside as chairman in August,” he said in a statement.
“I intend to devote my energies to a number of key development projects in Sydney, Melbourne and Las Vegas as well as Crown’s online platforms.”
Speaking a decade after the death of his father, Kerry, Packer said he was proud of Crown’s achievements and that there was more to deliver for shareholders.
“I remain incredibly passionate about Crown and its world-class integrated resort businesses. Crown is my biggest professional priority and represents the vast majority of my net wealth,” he added.
Packer owns around 53 per cent of Crown’s shares, and there are ongoing discussions about him buying the company out and taking it private.
Crown shares surged by 3.5 per cent to $12.00 in late morning trade on speculation that this is the latest move towards a privatisation deal.