Crown Resorts to split off international assets

Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd has announced it is considering setting up a new listed company to host some of its domestic assets to separate it from its international assets.

The operator made the announcement in a press release on June 15 – which sets out a number of “major initiatives to enhance shareholder value.”

As well as potentially pursuing a demerger of certain international investments in a separately listed holding company, the operator said it also intends to “adopt a new dividend policy to pay 100 percent of normalized net profit after tax, effective immediately”, and to “explore a potential IPO of 49 percent interest in a property trust, which would own Crown Resorts’ Australian hotels (excluding Crown Towers Melbourne)…”

Under the proposal, James Packer will no longer be employed as an executive of Crown Resorts, but will continue as the deputy chair of Melco Crown. The gaming magnate said he was fully supportive of the new initiative.

Rob Rankin, chairman of Crown Resorts, will chair both companies under the proposal. The executive said the move would maximize shareholder value and ensure a more efficient ownership structure for the group’s assets.

“We believe that Crown Resorts’ extremely high-quality Australian resorts are not being fully valued and the Crown Resorts share price has been highly correlated to the performance of its investment in Macau,” he said.