Australian billionaire businessman and investor.
James Douglas Packer (born 8 September 1967) is an Australian billionaire businessman and investor.
Packer is the son of media mogul Kerry Packer and the grandson of Sir Frank Packer. He inherited control of the family company, Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, as well as investments in Crown Resorts and other companies. He is the former executive chairman of Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) and Consolidated Media Holdings, which predominantly owned media interests across a range of platforms, and a former executive chairman of Crown Resorts.
In May 2018, Packer’s net worth was assessed as A$5.50 billion by the Financial Review Rich List, ranking him as the tenth-richest Australian; he was the richest person in Australia in 2006 and 2007. Forbes Asia magazine assessed Packer’s net worth at US$3.8 billion in December 2017, the ninth-richest Australian.
James Packer was born in Sydney, the son of philanthropist Roslyn (née Weedon) and media mogul Kerry Packer. His grandfather was the media proprietor Sir Frank Packer.
Packer was educated at Cranbrook School in Bellevue Hill, Sydney. After obtaining the Higher School Certificate (HSC) at Cranbrook, he began working at his father’s extensive Newcastle Waters cattle station in the Barkly Tableland of the Northern Territory, where he was a jackeroo. Packer has stated he did not attend university as he “didn’t have the marks”.
His mentors, he has said, include his father and corporate executive Albert J. Dunlap.
Packer is the major shareholder and a director of Crown Resorts Limited, one of Australia’s largest casino groups. In October 2017, Crown’s market capitalisation was over A$8 billion. Every year Crown’s Australian resorts attract over 31 million visits.
Since his father’s death, Packer has moved away from the family’s traditional media businesses and focused on creating a worldwide gambling empire: Crown Resorts. Crown is one of Australia’s largest gambling and resort groups. It has businesses and
investments in the integrated resort and casino sectors in Australia and Macau, and wholly owns and operates a high-end casino in London, Crown Aspinall’s. In October 2017, Crown’s market capitalization was over $8 billion. Crown’s two Australian resorts, Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, feature over 2,750 hotel rooms, villas, gambling areas, resort pools, spas, restaurants and retail, convention centres and live entertainment venues. Every year Crown’s Australian resorts and casinos attract over 31 million visits. Over one third of Crown’s revenue in fiscal 2016 was estimated to be generated from international visitors, mostly from Asia. Crown announced investment of over A$4.1 billion between fiscal 2007 and fiscal 2017, to upgrade and open new attractions at its Australian resorts, including the significant development A$2 billion Crown Sydney Hotel Resort which is expected to open in 2020.
In 2009 Crown lost US$250 million in failed casino investment company in the US, Fontainebleau Resorts. Crown also paid US$242 million for a stake in Station Casinos which is now considered almost worthless.
As at 30 June 2013, Crown held a 33.7% equity interest in MCE. Crown’s initial investment in Melco Crown Entertainment was US$600 million, the market cap of Crown’s investment as at 30 October 2013, was US$6.2 billion. At Crown’s annual meeting in October 2013 Packer said “Crown’s investment through our partnership with Melco International Development has now grown to be one of the largest Australian joint-venture partnerships operating inside China”. Crown completed the sell down of this investment in May 2017.
Betfair Australasia was formed as a 50/50 joint venture between Crown Resorts and Betfair Group plc. In August 2014, Crown Resorts announced it had acquired Betfair Group plc’s 50% equity interest in Betfair Australasia Pty Limited (Betfair Australasia) for consideration of $10 million.
In 2011, Packer’s ASX-listed Crown Limited acquired a 100% interest in Aspinall’s Club in London, developed through a joint venture between Crown and Packer’s family friend, Damian Aspinall, the son of John Aspinall. Crown has since rebranded Aspinall’s Club to Crown Aspinall’s.
Together with Damian Aspinall, Packer’s Crown Resorts holds a 50% equity interest in a group of casino complexes in the UK called Aspers, which operate four regional casinos in Newcastle upon Tyne, Stratford, East London, Milton Keynes and Northampton. Packer’s bid for a UK “supercasino” based in Cardiff fell through when only one licence was granted, to the northern city of Manchester.
In December 2014, Crown Resorts signed a deal with Matthew Tripp, which gave Crown Resorts control over Tripp’s online betting platform, CrownBet, formerly known as BetEasy. In April 2016 CrownBet pleaded guilty to five counts of breaching laws by publishing illegal betting advertising that offered inducements for NSW residents to gamble. According to the NSW Department of Justice, CrownBet “sought to have the matters finalised without conviction in Downing Centre Local Court ….. but Magistrate Joanne Keogh said convictions were necessary for general deterrence to others in the industry and to protect the vulnerable. CrownBet was convicted of the five offences and ordered to pay a total of $10,500 in fines and also ordered to pay … legal costs of $10,000.”
On 21 March 2018, Packer resigned as executive chairman of Crown Resorts.
As of March 2017, Forbes magazine estimated Packer’s wealth at US$3.9 billion, down from the US$6.60 billion published by Forbes in their 2014 list of the richest people in Australia. In 2017 Forbes list of the 50 Richest Australians, Packer’s net worth was assessed at US$3.9 billion, making him the ninth-richest Australian.No tags for this post.