Blackstone makes AU$8bn offer to acquire Crown Resorts

Last year, Blackstone Group bought Melco's shares in Crown Resorts.
Last year, Blackstone Group bought Melco's shares in Crown Resorts.

Blackstone, which already has a 10 per cent holding in the casino giant, has offered to buy all outstanding shares in Crown Resorts for AU$8bn (US$6.2bn).

Australia.- The Blackstone Group has made an unsolicited non-binding offer to acquire all remaining shares in Crown Resorts for AU$11.85 cash per share.

The hedge fund bought Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s 9.9 per cent stake in the operator in April 2020 at a price ofAU$8.15 a share.

The latest bid is conditional and will depend on Australia’s lengthy probity process, which can last up to three years.

Crown’s board issued a statement saying that the Blackstone Group’s proposal is subject to several conditions, including arranging debt finance, a unanimous Crown Board recommendation and a commitment from all Crown directors to vote in favour of the proposal.

Other potential bidders for Crown Resorts

An alternative bidder for Crown could emerge in the form of Las Vegas Sands, which has recently sold its world-famous Venetian casino for US$6.25bn to invest in its Asian businesses.

Bernstein analyst Vitaly Umansky said: “Crown Resorts could be a good fit for Sands in the long run. The company is currently in turmoil following regulatory challenges and is ripe for new ownership and management.”

Another potential contender, Wynn Resorts, previously made an offer for Crown in 2018, offering a price of AU$14.75 a share, but the US operator walked away from talks after they became public.

Crown Resorts is currently being investigated by a Royal Commission in Western Australia to examine its suitability to continue holding a casino gaming licence for Crown Perth.

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