After a peak price of $18 per share in January 2014, James Packer scooped up 18 million shares in his casino resort company yesterday at a bargain price of $12 each, paying a slight premium over Tuesday’s close of $11.66. The acquisition raised the Director’s share percentage in Crown Resorts from a mere 50.1% to 53.1% in the $9 billion company.
The more than 30% drop in share prices from their early 2014 peak is seen as due to an overall weak performance by Melco Crown, Packer’s partner company with Lawrence Ho’s Melco International. Melco Crown has struggled along with all other operators in Macau due to a lack of VIP business which has been thwarted by the government there.
Melco Crown is the majority owner of three major casino properties including City of Dreams in Macau and Manila and the newly opened $3.2 billion Studio City Macau along with four smaller slots clubs in Macau.