James Packer sells stake in RatPac Entertainment to Access Entertainment

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James Packer, the Australian billionaire owner of Crown Resorts, has offloaded his stake in the entertainment studio that has helped finance movies including Gravity, American Sniper, Birdman and The Revenant.

Access Entertainment, part of Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, has picked up the stake, giving the US billionaire ownership of RatPac’s film, TV and documentary business as well as a slice of the RatPac-Dune venture that co-finances films for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Brett Ratner will retain his stake in RatPac, continue as chief executive and become co-chairman alongside Danny Cohen, president of Access Entertainment. RatPac was founded in 2013 by Mr Ratner and Mr Packer.

The move by Mr Packer should afford him more time to concentrate on his resorts and casino empire, which has endured a tumultuous year. Crown shelved plans to spin off a property trust holding of most of its Australian assets, while its revenues took a hit last year in the wake of the arrest of 18 employees by Chinese authorities last year.

Mr Packer’s sale marks the second high-profile investor exit in recent months, with Dune’s founder Steven Mnuchin divesting his stake in the RatPac-Dune venture when he was confirmed as President Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury.

RatPac-Dune signed a multi-year co-financing arrangement with Warner Bros in 2013 for up to 75 movies, that have included: Gravity, The Lego Movie, American Sniper, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Kong: Skull Island as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman, Justice League.

RatPac also partners with New Regency with films including Academy Award best picture winners Birdman and The Revenant.

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