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Packer mulls end of empire with Wynn’s on-off bid

2019-04-15 07:52     Comment:0

SYDNEY – The Packer dynasty has sat astride corporate Australia for a century, forging newspaper, television and casino dominions with the power to make and break governments. The end of that reign was once unthinkable.

It’s now a possibility, though, after James Packer’s casino operator Crown Resorts said last week it was discussing a A$9.99 billion (US$7.16 billion) sale to Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts. While the talks collapsed just hours later, the billionaire has sent out a clear signal: he is willing to sell his firm’s approximately 46 percent share in Crown and dismantle a family empire built up over four generations.

Wynn’s unlikely to stay away and other suitors could join the fray, Deutsche Bank said. A sellout by Packer would be the culmination of a multi-year overseas retreat, a tumultuous period marked by an anti-gambling crackdown in mainland China, an ugly split with his fiancée Mariah Carey and a public battle with his mental health that forced him to quit Crown’s board in March 2018.

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