Australia – It has been announced today by Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd that it has abandoned plans to purchase its proposed stake in Crown Resorts Ltd and its plans for a Crown Resorts board seat.
The announcement is said to come amid the coronavirus crisis, which has forced the casino developer, owner and operator to ‘reassess its non-core investments’.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd, which already owns almost 10% in Crown Resorts, was reportedly looking to purchase James Packer’s 20% stake for a sum in the region of one billion dollars.
The deal has made headlines in the past few weeks due to its controversial nature involving Hong Kong-born Canadian businessman Lawrence Ho.
According to a document released earlier today, both Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd and Crown Resorts Ltd had discussed terminating the share sale agreement in a meeting.
The breakdown of the deal is said to be related to the coronavirus outbreak rather than the controversial stake sale.
Helen Coonan, Non-Executive Director of Crown Resorts Ltd commented:
“We’ve taken a number of practical measures, including engagement of an anti-money laundering expert. Most recently, we’ve appointed Nick Caldas, who is one of the nation’s most distinguished police officers, to review our anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing compliance processes.”
Coonan added details about James Packer, who is at the centre of the purchase:
“I met Mr Packer when he came back to have a look at the property and I thought he looked very well. He certainly was his usual incisive self, so I think you could say he’s in a much better place than perhaps he has been in the past.”
Reportedly, Melco Resorts is planning to focus its efforts and investments in Macau, Cyprus, the Philippines and Japan.