Packer teams with Greenland to bid on Brisbane casino

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Packer teams with Greenland to bid on Brisbane casino

Crown CasinoNEVER let it be said that James Packer isn’t willing to share the spoils of success.

The second richest man in Australia has teamed up with one of China’s most aggressive investment firms, Greenland, in an effort to win the bid for Brisbane’s multi-billion dollar casino development.

Teaming up with Packer’s Crown Resorts, Greenland, which already has a number of big investments in Australia, will go head-to-head with another joint bid between Australia’s Echo Entertainment and Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu-tung.

Under the new deal with Packer, Greenland will be a joint developer and the sole operator of the casino and resort, while retaining an equity stake said to be up to 25 percent. Crown would also receive a management fee for its role in operating the facility.

Should they win the bid, Greenland will be the exclusive developer and owner of the remaining commercial, retail and residential developments on the Queen’s Wharf site, which would cover five square blocks of downtown Brisbane. Details of the respective financial commitments from the two new business partners was not released.

What is also unclear at this stage is what name the casino would have and whether or not it would go under the Crown Casino branding.

Greenland’s merger with Crown on the casino project will be the centrepiece of an aggressive venture into Australia. The investment group has $1.4 billion worth of residential development projects across the nation and expects to invest another $18.5 billion globally before the end of 2014. Greenland has been the most aggressive overseas investor among Chinese real estate companies, signing deals for projects in Canada, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the UK, and the US over the last two years. The bid for Brisbane’s casino will complement other initiatives in Melbourne and Sydney.

While in Australia recently, Greenland’s chairman Zhang Yuliang recently said that he expects revenues for the firm’s main holding company to grow to $75 billion in 2014 – an expected 100 per cent increase in sales is tipped to fule the major growth.

Our take on the story

Packer, who is extending his own reach and network throughout Asia, has found the ideal partners to put together a winning bid on the Brisbane casino.

It will be interesting to see how things develop from here, but up against Echo and Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, you can be sure of one thing – there’s going to be no expense spared on this new casino. Brisbane’s new centrepiece could be on the way.

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