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Star appoints Mellor to lead Gold Coast operations as CEO

| By Robert Fletcher
Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has appointed Jessica Mellor as chief executive of its Gold Coast operations.
Star CEO Gold Coast

Mellor, whose appointment is subject to certain regulatory approvals, was previously Star Gold Coast chief operating officer. She had served in the role since July 2019 having also spent time as general manager of the property.

Prior to joining Star, Mellor worked in senior roles at both Aquis Entertainment and Aquis Australia. She also had spells with Custodian Funds Management Group, the JLF Group of Companies and Leighton Contractors. 

“When I joined The Star in 2019, I was so grateful to be in a position to take on an amazing opportunity while also returning to my hometown,” Mellor said. “This new role takes it to another level.

“There have been some testing times over the past four years, particularly during the pandemic and the agility required to keep adapting day to day. But the Gold Coast is resilient, it’s innovative and there is an extraordinary future ahead of our city. The Star can be such a significant contributor to that.”

Star restructures regional management 

The appointment forms part of an organisational restructure that will see the creation of property-based operational business units. These will cover Star locations in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney.

Each unit will be led by a property-based CEO reporting directly to the group CEO and managing director Robbie Cooke. Star will make further announcements in due course regarding the appointment of CEOs in Sydney and Brisbane.

Group CEO Cooke adds: “Over the past four years, through some incredibly challenging times, Jess and the Gold Coast team have delivered a world-class tourism, entertainment and gaming destination.

“The organisational changes being implemented are designed to simplify our structure and provide clearer operational accountability at each of our Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney properties. The new structure will provide greater responsibility and decision-making power at a property level while maintaining appropriate oversight from the group level.”

Writedown of casino value hits full-year results

The appointment and restructure come as Star continues to count the cost of a writedown in the value of its casinos in Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane. This ultimately led to a full-year net loss of AU$2.40bn (£1.25bn/€1.45bn/US$1.53bn).

Some $2.8bn of outgoings were labelled “significant items” for the year to 30 June 2023. This followed a string of fines and penalties in recent years.

This consisted of an AU$2.20bn non-cash impairment of the Sydney, Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane goodwill and property assets. There were also regulatory and legal costs of AU$595m, debt restructuring costs of AU$54m and redundancy costs of AU$16m.

Last month, Star also paused trading on the Australian Stock Exchange after revealing details of a large-scale capital restructure. At the centre of this was an AU$750.0m capital raising.

Star has also agreed $450.0m worth of new debt facilities with Barclays Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation. This includes a $150.0m four-year revolving credit facility and $300.0m four-year underwritten term loan.

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