James Packer ordered the yacht for $120 million in 2015, but the price soared to $200 million during construction.
While his casino company is receiving buyout offers, Crown’s top shareholder James Packer focuses on his $200 million yacht. In his defense, the project began 4 years ago, when James Packer still reigned supreme at Crown Resorts.
Casino News Daily reported the Benetti shipbuilding company lowered the 108-metre long yacht earlier this month. Packer’s yacht began as a $120 million project, but construction costs eventually swelled to $200 million.
Currently, Benetti calls the boat “FB275”, but the Sydney Morning Herald said its eventual name will be “IJE”. IJE is the name of James Packer’s three children with his ex-wife, Erica: Indigo, Jackson, and Emmanuelle.
Last September, Packer sold his previous 55-metre yacht (“EJI”), so he needed a replacement. RWD, a British ship design studio, designed the newer craft’s exterior. Benetti’s in-house designers created the lush interior design.
Details of James Packer’s Yacht
IJE is big enough to be a small luxury liner. It has 5 decks, a movie theater, and a heated swimming pool. The rest of the ample space contains amenities like a suana and an observation deck.
The yacht’s top speed is 18.5 knots, while it has a top range of 6,500 nautical miles. The fuel tank’s capacity is 345,000 litres, so it will take a long time before needing a refuel.
Wynn Resorts’ $10 Billion Buyout Offer
With his massive new boat in tow, James Packer could sale into retirement after a tumultuous 14 years heading Crown Resorts. After Las Vegas casino company Wynn Resorts offered $10 billion to buy Crown last week, many thought retirement was near.
Within 24 hours, Wynn withdrew the offer, so James Packer might keep the casino group which has been his main career focus since his father, the legendary Kerry Packer, died. Rob Report AU tweeted, “James Packer’s new gigayacht could eventually be moored at Barangaroo.”
Bloomberg News suggested the Wynn-Crown deal could reignite in the coming months. Wynn Resorts needs to acquire assets to avoid being acquired, while Crown needs a jolt of life.
James Packer’s Casino Career
For his part, James Packer deserves the rest. When he took over his father’s media and casino empire in 2005, James Packer chose to focus on casinos. By 2007, he invested in a Las Vegas casino and appeared ready to go international in his own right.
The Las Vegas investment turned sour when the Global Recession hit and Packer ended up in a lawsuit over the deal. From 2007 to 2010, his fortune sank from $7 billion to $3 billion. Macau revived Packer’s fortunes, as his father’s 33% investment in Melco Crown in 2004 proved to be gold.
Crown Resorts at Its Peak
From 2010 to 2014, James Packer regained his status as Australia’s top billionaire. He secured the license for the Crown Sydney in Barangaroo in 2013, considered a coup at the time. But Macau’s downturn in 2014 caused Packer to sell half his Melco Crown shares.
He sold the rest later, when China arrested 18 Crown employees in Shanghai for illegal advertisements. By then, James Packer had declared semi-retirement and gotten engaged to Mariah Carey. He left his position as Crown’s chief executive and began to run with the Hollywood crowd.
James Packer Leaves the Crown Board Again
When the Chinese crisis happened, James Packer returned to Crown’s board. He forged a plan to focus on Aussie casinos and seemed engaged in the process. Then in early 2018, Packer left the board again and checked himself into a Boston mental hospital.
He moved about the world — to Argentina, Cabo San Lucas, and Los Angeles — and settled into a post-casino life. Now American casino operators have targeted Crown, while James Packer remains focused on his vast yacht.
The Herald Sun speculated the Packer casino dynasty could be over. Given the unpredictability of James Packer’s career, that might well signal his triumphant return to head the company once more.