Crown Resorts CEO steps down
Melbourne, Australia – 23 February 2017 –
Crown Resorts chief executive officer Rowen Craigie has stepped down and the casino operator has scrapped a proposed hotels listing in the latest fallout from a crackdown on its activities in China, Bloomberg reported.
Chairman John Alexander will take on Craigie’s responsibilities, a concentration of power that reflects Crown’s tighter focus on its Australian operations after employees were detained on the Chinese mainland in October for alleged gambling-related crimes, Bloomberg reported.
Billionaire James Packer, whose private investment company owns 48 percent of Crown, returned to the board last month and has made resolving the situation in China his top priority. The Melbourne-based company has already scrapped a spinoff of overseas assets and sold more than half its stake in Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment as it now focuses on its hotels and casinos in Australia.
Crown shares climbed in Sydney trading on Thursday after the company announced a special dividend of 83 Australian cents a share. That soothed investors after high-roller betting at its Australian casino resorts almost halved in the first half and profit fell in the wake of the China detentions.
Crown said it scrapped a proposed initial public offering of a trust holding its Australian hotels partly because it raised capital instead from the sale of Melco Crown shares.