Singapore gaming operator Genting said it has taken a stake in Australian casino operator Echo Entertainment, just as Echo’s chair unexpectedly resigned to avoid a damaging vote called by billionaire rival James Packer.
Analysts speculated that Genting was preparing for an acquisition, having built up a war chest of $3.9 billion, and said Echo’s casinos were in cities where Genting had attempted to win licences in the past.
A Genting spokesman declined to give the size of the stake but said the value of its investment is $298 million. The Australian newspaper said earlier that Genting had built up a 4.9 per cent stake in Echo, which runs casinos in Sydney and the Gold Coast of Australia.
Echo said separately that its chair, John Story, has resigned, bowing to a destabilising campaign run by Packer who owns a rival casino operator and wanted to sack the chair.