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Australia's Crown Resorts acquired by Blackstone

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The transaction marks the largest transaction to date in the Asia-Pacific region.

Blackstone Inc., an investment banking company, is the landlord for several megaresorts located on the Strip in Las Vegas. The company has now announced that it completed its buyout of billionaire James Packer’s Crown Resorts Ltd.

The New York financial conglomerate acquired Crown for AU$13.10 ($9.08) per share which values the firm at $6.1bn. Crown operates resorts in Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney and a casino in London.

Crown CEO Steve McCann said: "Australian tourism has entered a recovery phase, and we believe this trend will continue. … With Blackstone’s investment and expertise, we’re confident Crown will cement its place on the global stage as one of the world’s leading owners and operators of integrated resorts."

Blackstone was only one of the groups that attempted to acquire Crown. In 2019, Wynn Resorts Ltd. suspended a possible deal to acquire Crown. 

Blackstone owns many casinos that are located on the Strip in Las Vegas. These casinos and resorts include Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, Mandalay Bay, and MGM Grand, the latter two are in joint ownership with casino landlord VICi Properties.

Every casino owned by Blackstone is operated by MGM Resorts International. Another casino resort that was owned by Blackstone was The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which was sold for $5.65bn in May of 2022.

Packer was Crown’s largest shareholder with 36.8% of its stock as of last summer, the company reported. He attempted the Alon Las Vegas project, however, the hotel and casino were never built.

Packer acquired the vacant New Frontier site through foreclosure in 2014, but Crown stopped development on the project in 2016 after trouble raising project funds. 

In the following year, Wynn Resorts announced it was acquiring the Alon site and an adjacent property for $336m.

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