Then and Now: James Packer
Two years ago we were writing about Australian billionaire James Packer's multimillion dollar wedding but now Packer, who was once Australia's richest man (#173 on the Forbes billionaire list for 2008), is finding himself in the same financial trouble that plagues so many and is cutting back. Packer's version of cutting back looks a little different from clipping coupons or forgoing the morning latté. The Sunday Telegraph reports that Packer has put his $50 million 165-foot luxury yacht the Z Ellerston up for sale, has pushed back the purchase of a private Boeing jet and has held up construction of the huge backyard pool complex planned for Ellerston, the family property near Scone. Packer has also put a three-level apartment in London's Mayfair area up for sale. He also recently sold his stake in Consolidated Pastoral Company for about $425 million.
Don't feel too bad for Packer, he's still a billionaire, just less of a billionaire than he was a year ago. The bigger worry on the horizon for him is his Macau casino venture. Gaming revenues are on the decline in the Chinese gambling capital. Packer is involved in a joint venture to open the $2.2 billion City of Dreams hotel and casino. Packer has invested much of his own money and investors' funds in Macau so much is riding on the success of the hotel.