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Family Business Roundup: Crown Resorts, SK Group, and Cargill

James Packer steps down as chairman of Crown Resorts; Chey Tae Won receives pardon from president; and Cargill to expand agriculture business in Mexico

James Packer steps down as chairman of Crown Resorts

Australian billionaire James Packer has stepped down as chairman of Crown Resorts amid an earnings slump at the casino group.

According to a statement, the 47-year-old will instead take on the role of senior executive director and plans to focus on the group’s global expansion.

The chairman’s role will go to former Deutsche Bank senior executive Robert Rankin, who heads up Packer’s private company, Consolidated Press Holdings.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Packer is likely to earn a salary of around $10 million per year. It is the first salaried position the billionaire has taken with the group. 

"Crown remains my number one business priority and passion," he said in a statement. "I will continue to drive key projects, including our joint business in Asia and our planned resort in Las Vegas."

Crown's net profit for the year ended June 30 missed forecasts and fell to AUD$385 million ($284 million) from AUD$655 million the year before.

Chey Tae Won receives pardon from president

Chey Tae Won, the head of South Korea's third largest conglomerate, has promised to turn over a new leaf after being released from jail following a controversial presidential pardon. 

The 54 year old was serving his second jail term for multi-million dollar fraud at SK Group, which has interests in telecommunication, oil refining and memory chips, and is set to resume his duties this month.

President Park Geun-hye pardoned the second-gen along with 6,527 people to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in a move she hopes will boost the economy and lift the national mood.

However, the pardon is likely to signal to the South Korean people that business tycoons are above the law, despite the government increasing legislation to keep them in check.

South Korea has long been reliant on a small number of large, family-controlled groups, which Park Geun-hye is hoping to address through tougher restrictions and by supporting small companies.

Cargill to expand agriculture business in Mexico

Cargill, the world's largest agribusiness company, plans to expand its business through a $170 million direct investment in Mexico.

The 150-year-old multinational will also increase its purchases of Mexican crops and will make credit available for farmers.

“We believe Mexico can play a bigger role in feeding the world,” Cargill chief executive David MacLennan said at an event in Jalisco, Mexico.

Cargill entered the Mexican market 50 years ago this year and employs 1,750 people at its 30 facilities in 13 states, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company, which in 2014 had revenues of $135 billion, was founded by William Wallace Cargill in 1865, and has remained privately owned since.


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