SYDNEY Jan 10 Crown Resorts Ltd on
Tuesday said its biggest shareholder, Australian billionaire
James Packer, will return to the casino company's board less
than a month after it announced its near-total exit from global
gaming hubs Las Vegas and Macau.
Packer's return comes just over a year after he left the
board ahead of a mooted strategy to take the company private,
and as part of a major executive reshuffle as the firm scales
back its global expansion plans.
"There was the privatisation plan ... that was all about a
global growth play and it seems like that is completely out of
the picture now," said Mathan Somasundaram, a strategist with
stockbroker Baillieu Holst.
Robert Rankin would step down as chairman to be replaced by
long-time Packer lieutenant John Alexander on Feb. 1, the
company said in a statement. Rankin would remain on the board.
In a surprise trading update on Dec. 15, the company
scrapped plans to build a casino in Nevada, said it would sell
half its stake in Macau-focused Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd
and cancelled plans to spin off its international
($1 = 1.3585 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Stephen Coates)