In an investors call, Melco revealed it has put aside its plans to acquire further Crown resorts shares as it deals with coronavirus’ impact.
Australia.- The two Australian giants were involved in several negotiations recently. However, Melco Resorts announced it won’t buy further Crown shares as it had planned.
Melco informed investors it has actually “taken the decision to reassess all non-core investments to be made in 2020.” Right now, the company says, its priority is to deal with the spread of coronavirus and necessary measures to prevent it.
For that matter, Melco “will not pursue its planned investment in Australia for the second tranche of shares” in Crown.
Melco had already delayed its Crown takeover due to an investigation in Australia.
“On August 8, 2019, the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority announced that it was conducting an inquiry into the Transaction and other matters relating to Crown,” Melco noted. That’s the reason it has decided to put on hold the second stage. It is “to allow more time for the relevant Australian regulatory processes to be completed.”
Melco still has to complete the acquisition of the remaining 67,675,000 shares of Crown.
The chief of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Michael Phelan, told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald about the investigations. He said that investigators and federal police and intelligence agencies have uncovered damning “insights into vulnerabilities ... within Australian casinos.”
The Targeting Criminal Wealth special investigation looks into the operation of junkets who are responsible for bringing high roller clients into casinos. Mr Phelan didn’t reveal which operators are under investigation, but Crown recently highlighted its own measures. They said they have “a comprehensive anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program” and “robust process” for vetting junket operators.