Ten years on, Melco Crown faces uncertain future

Almost a decade on from Melco Crown Entertainment’s 2006 IPO, there are signs that the joint venture between two of the world’s largest casino operators is not meeting its sky-high expectations. As early as 2004, Melco International Development and Crown Resorts set out a vision for Melco PBL Entertainment, as the joint venture was known before a 2008 name change. The ambitious project pledged to “develop and operate casino, gaming machines and casino hotel businesses and properties” across a number of Asian territories including Greater China, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. However, ten years on and Melco Crown has only delivered on projects in two territories: Macau and the Philippines, the latter in partnership with Belle Corporation. Perhaps more concerning for the JV are signs from both Crown and Melco that they may ultimately be better off going alone. In May, Crown sold down $800 million in Melco Crown shares,...

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