Star CEO still interested in merger with Crown Resorts

In July, Star Entertainment Group withdrew its offer for Crown Resorts.
In July, Star Entertainment Group withdrew its offer for Crown Resorts.

Despite Star Entertainment Group withdrawing its offer for Crown Resorts, its CEO has said he is still interested in a takeover deal.

Australia.- A month after the Star Entertainment Group withdrew its offer of AU$12bn (US$9.4bn) for Crown Resorts, Matt Bekier, Star’s CEO, has said he is still interested in a possible merger.

According to Bekier, if Crown is finally forced to break up, Star will consider buying the operator’s venue in Sydney.

Star withdrew its offer after Adrian Finanzio, the counsel assisting Victoria’s Royal Commission into Crown Resorts, told the inquiry that Crown should lose its Melbourne licence.

According to local media reports, Bekier said: “We have to have greater clarity about what we would actually be buying, then we can form a view of how much it’s worth.”

The Star CEO had said the fusion would deliver between AU$150m to AU$200m of cost synergies per annum with an estimated net value of AU$2bn but admitted it depends on the results of the royal commissions.

There have been some changes on Crown Resorts board in a bid to satisfy Victoria’s Royal Commission. Helen Coonan is going to step down as chairman at the end of the month. Xavier Walsh has stepped down as chief executive officer of Crown Melbourne.

Michael Borsky, the company’s senior counsel, said Crown has already started to analyse possible replacements for Coonan and expects to appoint a new leader by August 31.

Coonan assumed the role on an interim basis after Ken Barton stepped down following the ILGA’s inquiry into Crown’s fitness to keep its licence for its Crown Sydney property

Star Entertainment posts revenue of AU$1.56bn for FY21

The casino operator has shared financial results for its fiscal year, reporting revenue of AU$1.56bn with a statutory EBITDA of AU$427m, up 51 per cent. According to the company, its Queensland venue saw record earnings from domestic gaming revenue amid Covid-19 restrictions that materially impacted revenues and earnings.

Star Sydney, which closed on June 25 and remains shut, saw a decline in gross revenue of 30 per cent to AU$832m, with a 96 per cent decline in VIP and a 10 per cent decline in domestic revenues.

The Gold Coast property saw gross revenue fall 28 per cent year-on-year, including a 100 per cent fall in VIP revenue while domestic revenues were up 26 per cent. Domestic gaming revenue at Star Gold Coast was also up 18 per cent in the second half.

Star Brisbane recorded a 38 per cent growth in domestic revenue. The figure was up 3 per cent year-on-year despite shutdowns in January, March and June. Group slots revenue for the second half was up 4 per cent.

According to its financial report, the casino operator will be focusing on international premium mass and direct premium customers once borders reopen. 

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Crown Resorts land-based casino The Star Entertainment Group