After reaching a settlement with his sister Gretel, James Packer has decided to pay the debt owned via the agreement by giving up the majority of control within Crown Resorts. Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd. is a privately held investment arm owned by Packer that announced over the weekend that 35 million shares will be sold to pay for the debt owed.
The 35 million shares represents around 4.8% of the share capital issued by Crown and will be sold at AUD12.80 a piece which will equal a total of AUD448 million. This amount is equal to $338.29 million in US dollars.
It was in October of last year that a settlement was reached that would see Gretel Packer earn AUD1.25 billion in cash and preference shareholdings of Consolidated Press Holdings. This investment arm had been set up by the sibling’s late father Kerry. However, earlier this year, the two decided to split the assets again. Gretel would be earning a portfolio of similar value but this time it would have shares from Crown Resorts as well as Zillow, a digital company, included, along with stake in Ellerston Capital and the interest from Consolidated Press Holdings.
Catherine Davis is the Secretary of Consolidated Press Holdings and the legal counsel for the company who sent a letter to Crown Resorts which gave assurances to the casino company that the group is still deeply committed to Crown Resorts and are excited about the future of the company. Consolidated Press Holdings will still be the majority shareholder of Crown Resorts but on a smaller scale, of 48.2%.
In the letter, Davies stated that the sale is being conducted as part of a strategy involving capital management and financing. Consolidated Press Holdings remains supportive of the recent announcement of initiatives to increase the shareholder value by Crown Resorts with the new dividend policy, the proposed demerger and the continued evaluation of a potential REIT.