Crown’s asset separation may face delays

James Packer’s plan to separate some of Crown Resorts’ domestic assets from its international assets may take longer than the initial nine-month time frame given by chief executive Rowen Craigie in June, local media reports.

In June 2016, the casino operator announced it was 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 set out a number of “major initiatives to enhance shareholder value.”

As well as pursuing a demerger of certain international investments in a separately listed holding company, the operator said in June that 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)…”

However, the recent arrest of 17 Crown Resort employees in China has (expectedly) thrown a spanner into the works, according to market commentators.