agrees to Crown board ban in inquiry fallout - 16th
Packer has struck a deal with the NSW gaming regulator.
By Patrick Hatch
casino mogul James Packer has agreed to play no role
in how Crown Resorts is run for the next three-and-a-half
years, after the damning Bergin Inquiry found his
influence was a reason it was unfit to open its new
NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA)
said on Friday it had reached an agreement with Mr
Packer, who owns 37 per cent of Crown, which included
banning him from nominating anyone to Crowns
board until October 2024.
has been negotiating with Mr Packers private
company Consolidated Press Holding (CPH) for months
over the future of his involvement at Crown, with
the gambling regulator confirming on Friday it has
decided not to force him to sell down his stake.
long-running Bergin Inquiry found in February that
Mr Packer exercised the real power at
Crown which distorted proper corporate governance
and had disastrous consequences for the company.
inquiry found Crown was unfit to hold the licence
for its new casino at Sydneys Barangaroo, after
confirming reports by this masthead that the company
had facilitated money laundering and gone into business
with figures linked to organised crime. ILGA has blocked
Crown from opening the gaming floors at its $2.2 billion
tower until it can prove it has reformed itself.
said that some of the key undertakings
that CPH had agreed to were that it would not seek
to have a nominee or any other person appointed as
a Crown director before October 2024, and that it
would not try to amend Crowns constitution in
a way that would affect the management or operation
three of Mr Packers nominee directors resigned
following the Bergin report as part of a boardroom
clean-out that claimed five directors and chief executive
has also agreed that it will not enter into any information
sharing arrangements with Crown, after the Bergin
Inquiry uncovered the free-flow of sensitive financial
information between the parties under a secret deal
other shareholders did not know about.
said CPH would not initiate any discussions with Crown
about its business operations, other than through
is currently weighing up an $8 billion takeover offer
from US private equity group Blackstone, which already
owns 10 per cent of the company.
Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported on Thursday
that CPH and ILGA had agreed that Mr Packer would
not vote his shares on any issues relating to Crowns
operations - such as the appointment of new directors
- but would be free to vote on any takeover offers,
maintaining his position as a kingmaker in any such
gambling regulator said the agreement, which would
be finalised and recorded in an enforceable legal
document, came following discussions about the Bergin
Inquirys final report which raised significant
concerns over the influence of CPH and Mr Packer...
on the management and operation of Crowns Barangaroo
Sydney Morning Herald)