Crown spends on jewels
JAMES Packer's Crown will spend an additional $281 million upgrading its Australian casinos as well as making acquisitions that include consolidating its ownership of the prestigious Aspinall's Club in London.
The upgrade comes on top of $139 million previously earmarked for upgrades of Crown Casino in Melbourne and Perth's Burswood Casino.
Crown's acquisitions include the Holiday Inn hotel assets at Burswood Casino for $79 million.
This includes the cost of dissolving the partnership under which the Holiday Inn and Intercontinental hotels are operated.
''As a result of these transactions, Burswood will be entitled to a greater share of hotel profits,'' Crown said yesterday.
A further $81 million will be spent upgrading Burswood Casino's gambling floor, catering, convention centre and VIP accommodation services at the Intercontinental.
Crown Casino will now undergo $132 million of upgrades, twice the
amount previously announced, with a more extensive investment in the casino's gambling floor and catering, as well as a new bar and lounge, Club 23, that will feature Shane Warne and poker champion Joe Hachem as ambassadors.
The only overseas investment in yesterday's announcement was
the deal to acquire a 100 per cent interest in Aspinall's Club. The casino was previously owned by the Aspinall's Group, Crown's joint venture with Packer family friend Damian Aspinall.
Crown shares gained 12¢ to close at $8.57.