The $1 billion James Packer will receive from his 50 per cent stake in CMH is almost certain to be devoted to Crown Ltd. Photo: Reuters
CONSOLIDATED Media shareholders have delivered James Packer a billion-dollar pay day by overwhelmingly approving the company's sale to News Corp for $1.94 billion.
Mr Packer, who is CMH's deputy chairman, did not attend the meeting in Perth. The casino mogul was in Canberra preaching the need to catch the next China boom - tourism - with luxury accommodation and gambling facilities.
''It should be almost compulsory for all senior executives and government officials to make a trip to China to gather an appreciation of how the country has changed,'' he told a tourism forum at Parliament House.
He cited casino developments in Singapore that have catapulted the island nation past Las Vegas to become the world's second-biggest gambling centre when measured by revenue, after Macau.
''Our international competitors get it, and are throwing everything in a co-ordinated and well-funded strategy to attract more high-net-worth travellers. We need to do the same,'' Mr Packer said.
Mr Packer plans to build a $1 billion hotel and casino at Barangaroo in Sydney and has preliminary approval for a second casino licence when the exclusivity of Echo Entertainment's licence expires in 2019.
The $1 billion Mr Packer will receive from his 50 per cent stake in CMH is almost certain to be devoted to Crown Ltd, which houses his casino interests.
He dismissed speculation he could buy back into the Nine Network.
The Crown casino chairman said by the end of this year his private business interests will have shifted almost entirely out of media and into the tourism industry.
''They have totally misunderstood what I'm trying to achieve … and why I am shifting into an industry I believe has a very positive future,'' Mr Packer said.
The sale of his CMH stake removes his last link to the family's media interests that go back generations. Mr Packer's last remaining media investment is a stake in Ten Network he acquired two years ago.
More than 99 per cent of CMH shareholders voted in favour of the News Corp proposal, clearing the path for the takeover to go ahead.
Consolidated Media, which has a 50 per cent stake in pay TV channel producer Fox Sports and 25 per cent of TV operator Foxtel, will apply on Friday for Federal Court approval for the sale.
Shareholders - including Kerry Stokes' Seven Group, which owns 23 per cent of CMH - will receive payment for their shares on Friday, November 23.
Shareholders will receive $3.45 a share under the scheme.