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Australia tycoon Packer quits family firm, citing health

News Desk

Agence France-Presse

Sydney, Australia | Mon, July 9, 2018 | 08:30 pm
Australia tycoon Packer quits family firm, citing health

James Packer, Australian billionaire and Melco Crown co-chairman speaks during a press conference at the newly-opened City of Dreams mega-casino in Manila on February 2, 2015. (AFP/Ted Aljibe)

Australian tycoon James Packer has quit his family firm Consolidated Press Holdings as he recovers from mental health issues, a spokesman said Monday, months after he stepped down from gaming empire Crown Resorts.

Packer's departure from his private investment vehicle is the latest step by one of Australia's richest people -- who has previously spoken about his battles with depression -- to walk away from his business commitments.

"Mr Packer has stepped off the CPH board as he continues his recovery from illness," a spokesman for the firm said in a brief statement.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) told AFP Packer resigned from the board on June 27, with the notice confirmed to the corporate regulator on Friday.

The 50-year-old son of the late publishing and gaming mogul Kerry Packer abruptly departed Crown in March, citing "mental health issues". CPH is Crown's largest shareholder.

With a personal fortune estimated at Aus$3.9 billion (US$2.9 billion), Packer had long controlled the two companies built up by his family over three generations.

He had only returned to the Crown board last year after earlier moving aside to focus on international interests.

The decision comes after a series of turbulent business and personal struggles for Packer.

Read also: Mariah Carey reveals bipolar disorder

James Packer, Mariah Carey and Member of the Australian House of Representatives Julie Bishop attend the G'Day USA 2016 Black Tie Gala at Vibiana on January 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.James Packer, Mariah Carey and Member of the Australian House of Representatives Julie Bishop attend the G'Day USA 2016 Black Tie Gala at Vibiana on January 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP/John Sciulli)

The Australian had a high-profile engagement with US music diva Mariah Carey before the couple split in 2016.

Around the same time, 19 Crown current and former employees were held for 10 months in China on charges of illegally luring rich Chinese to gamble in Australia.

Crown was also in the process of divesting from its international holdings to focus on its casinos in Melbourne and Perth, as well as a new gaming resort in Sydney.

Packer checked himself into a psychiatric hospital in the US just days after resigning from Crown's board, the Sydney Morning Herald reported then, adding that he had stayed there for six weeks seeking treatment.

The newspaper reported in late June that he was now spending time in the French Riviera with his current girlfriend, New York socialite Kylie Lim.

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