January 13, 2022 Casino, Land Based, Merger Aquisition

Blackstone increases offer for Crown takeover

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Takeover by the American group now seems more likely.

American private equity giant Blackstone has increased its takeover bid of Crown Resorts Ltd. This marks the latest stage in a year-long process and is the third time that Blackstone has increased its offer for the Australian casino company.

Crown now appears more likely to accept the offer, which stands at A$8.9bn ($6.5bn).

The new offer means that the sale price would stand at A$13.10 per share, up from the A$12.50 share price that was offered in November.

Blackstone currently owns 9.9% of Crown.

The gambit appears to be working. Crown says it will engage with Blackstone and will recommend that its shareholders accept the higher price if the offer becomes binding.

According to Reuters, the investment group Perpetual – who, holding 9.2% of Crown, are the company’s third-largest shareholder – supports the sale under the new offer.

This comes at a beleaguered time for the Australian company. In Sydney, it was found unsuitable to run its casino, while, at its flagship location in Melbourne, it was ordered to address a series of issues within two years. Among these were the facilitation of money laundering and the underpaying of taxes.

Added to this are the effects of the lockdown in Australia, which at times have been drawn out and draconian over the last two years.

The deal is still subject to approval by regulators in three Australian states. The shareholder vote finally authorizing the sale could occur at the end of June, according to an insider familiar with the matter.

Crown’s shares rose 8.7% because of the new offer to A$12.64, after closing on Wednesday at A$11.63.

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