James Packer, the billionaire backer of RatPac-Dune Entertainment, is quietly looking to unload his stake in the production and film financing company that he co-founded with director Brett Ratner, according to four individuals with knowledge of the matter. A rep for RatPac flatly denies that the Australian businessman is looking to divest his interest in the venture.Steven Mnuchin, the other major investor in RatPac-Dune, recently promised to sell his holdings after being tapped to serve as U.S. Treasury Secretary under...
Since emerging from Down Under to found RatPac Entertainment with Brett Ratner in late 2012, Aussie billionaire James Packer quickly transformed from casino/resort magnate to major Hollywood player.
Through RatPac, the Consolidated Press Holdings Pty Ltd. chairman co-financed the Oscar-winning “Birdman” and “The Revenant” with New Regency. But his biggest move was partnering with Dune Entertainment and, in September 2013, entering into a reported four-year pact valued at up to $450 million to fund as many as 75 features with Warner Bros. Pictures, beginning with the blockbuster “Gravity.” Packer sold his stake in RatPac in April 2017, but his financial maneuvering helped prop up the company before he exited.
Essentially replacing the departing Legendary Entertainment’s deal with the studio is just one of Packer’s big moves. He’s expanded the label to launch RatPac Television, RatPac Documentary Films and RatPac Press. Packer’s eye is now very focused on China, where his Crown Resorts casinos have gained him a big chunk of his fortune. RatPac and Warners have partnered with China Media Capital on both a Chinese capital fund and creative fund to target further opportunities on the growing market.
All of this has helped him escape the shadow of his larger-than-life dad, the late Aussie media tycoon Kerry Packer, not to mention the spectacle of his recently cancelled engagement to diva Mariah Carey. And despite his reported 6’6” height and imposing physique, Packer hasn’t been afraid to show a sensitive, emotional side when discussing failures such as the 2001 collapse of the Australian telcom One.Tel. Prior to joining RatPac, Packer developed and then largely divested from his family’s media holdings in favor of growing his casino and gaming assets. He was educated at Sydney’s Cranbrook boarding school.