Lawrence Ho removes Crown to go it alone in Japan

Lawrence Ho removes Crown to go it alone in Japan

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 Posted by Andy McCarron
Melco buyout concludes 'World’s Most Successful Global Gaming Partnership'

Lawrence Ho has thanked James Packer for his partnership over the past decade as it emerged that the successful joint venture between Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Crown Resorts is coming to an end after Melco announced a public offering which will buy out Crown’s stake in the company

Ho, Melco’s chairman and CEO, commented: “It is with great pride that I look back over the past decade and recognise all that we have achieved in partnership with Crown Resorts at Melco. This transaction brings to conclusion the world’s most successful global gaming partnership, highlighting our ability to work with partners in both good times and more challenging operating environments. I would like to personally offer my sincere thanks to Mr. James Packer and Crown Resorts for being a great friend and partner for the past decade.”

Packer’s Crown Resorts will now no longer be involved in the joint venture planned for the Japanese market and Crown’s sole remaining nominee director Robert Rankin will resign as a non-executive director of Melco.

Ho explained that he wanted to tackle the emerging Japanese casino market alone: “Despite our positive history with Crown, I made the strategic decision to terminate the joint venture arrangement and allow Melco to pursue Japan alone. This highlights our confidence in, and commitment to, identifying and evaluating new markets which will drive long term shareholder value while contributing to the development of tourism and delivering other economic benefits for our host cities where we operate.

“This is highlighted by our decision to develop a World-class, tailor-made integrated resort in Manila, giving us exposure to the fastest growing gaming and entertainment market in the World. Our experience gives us strong confidence to enter new markets by working in concert with local partners.”

He added that while Crown is exiting its remaining position in Melco, he feels ‘even more confident’ of Melco’s prospects than he did a year ago when the company completed the redemption of over US$800m worth of shares from Crown Resorts in May 2016. He added: “I firmly believe that Macau remains the best gaming market in the World and a great place to invest. We look forward to delivering on our promise and commitment to our customers, partners, employees, local communities and shareholders as we deliver Innovating Excitement for a New Age.”

Totally Gaming says: Strong leadership from Lawrence Ho has seen Melco strike out alone, buoyed by the success the firm has achieved in Philippines demonstrating its ability to operate in markets outside of Macao. Last week Melco announced Q1 figures featuring a 42% year-on-year increase in group-wide Adjusted property EBITDA, driven by expanding revenues across both Macau and the Philippines, signalling that Ho’s confidence is not misplaced.

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