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Packer in talks to privatize Crown Resorts

James Packer has been in talks with a number private equity firms and pension funds about the possibility of taking his share of the company private, according to local media.

However, the $4 billion proposal to privatize Crown Resorts has not yet been presented to Crown’s directors.

According to Bloomberg, Packer was looking into the possibility of taking some of Crown’s casino resorts private, without specifying which.

However, the talks have recently stalled, according to local sources, to be resumed, perhaps as a partial privatization - next year.

The casino operator’s shares had fallen by 20 percent over the last year due to soft trading from its Melco Crown Entertainment venture in Macau. “Macau has been a massive issue. Melco Crown has been part of the reason Crown has suffered so badly,” Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG Ltd. in Melbourne, said to Bloomberg earlier this week.

Following speculation about a move to privatize the company, Crown shares climbed by 14 percent to $12.12 on the ASX, the largest daily jump since 2009. “He’s risk-mitigating the current situation. It’s an interesting move and clearly the market likes it.”, Lucas added.

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