PACKER'S BACK AS CROWN BOARD RESHUFFLES

PACKER'S BACK AS CROWN BOARD RESHUFFLES

A BOARD shuffle for Crown Resorts Limited (ASX: CWN) will see James Packer return as director, with John Alexander assuming the executive chairman role as Robert Rankin steps down.

In addition to stepping down from his chairmanship at Crown, Rankin will also vacate his position as CEO of Consolidated Press Holdings, Crown's major shareholder.

Following Crown's major offload of 198 million Melco Crown Entertainment (NASDAQ: MPEL) shares worth $1.6 billion late last year, Packer said the time was right for a fresh corporate approach.

"Rob is a world-class chief executive who has done a very good job at CPH and Crown. I trust and respect him as much today as ever and we remain the closest of friends," said Packer.

"We have had discussions about what makes the most sense for Consolidated Press Holdings and Rob personally, since the material announcements made by Crown late last year, including its sell-down in Melco Crown and its increased focus on its core Australian business.

"This realignment of corporate priorities, which Rob strongly endorsed and drove, coupled with his own professional and personal priorities based overseas, made this conversation, like all our conversations, straightforward."

Echoing Packer's sentiment, Rankin stated his intention to continue bolstering Pacific Point Partners, the duo's investment vehicle which was born via its acquired stake in Contango Asset Management (ASX: CGA).

He believes the future of Crown and Consolidated Press Holdings is firmly entrenched within home markets.

"My key business priority going forward will be developing the Pacific Point Partners investment platform internationally," said Rankin.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunities in this space, which commenced with the stake in Contago Asset Management, and continues to grow."

"The next stage of Crown and Consolidated Press Holdings' development will be rightfully more focused on their outstanding Australian assets and James has a very strong team in place to do that."

Alexander is also optimistic about Crown's prospects in Australia, as he plans to lead the company as it builds its online and wagering presence.

"Crown Resorts is one of Australia's leading entertainment companies and we will work hard to ensure it continues to deliver world-class facilities and services to all its customers and guests," says Alexander.

"I thank the Crown Resorts Board for its support and look forward to representing all shareholders to ensure the business continues to grow and create value."

Rankin will continue to sit as a director on the boards of Crown Resorts Limited and Melco Crown Entertainment.

Crown shares are currently trading at $11.57, having dropped 1.28 per cent after opening at $11.63.

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