The latest chapter in Crown Resorts’ intriguing history is shaping up to be just as intriguing as its predecessors. The casino operator has received a follow-up acquisition from private equity firm Blackstone that has increased its bid to a price of $12.50 per share.
Blackstone’s previous bids of $11.85 cash per share in March 2021 and $12.35 cash per share in May were both unsuccessful, but the firm’s intent appears to be undaunted as it returned with a sweetened deal
Crown made a statement to its shareholders, acknowledging the bid and stating that hat the latest offer price would be reduced by the value of any dividends or distributions declared, or paid by the group, and would be subject to several stipulations, including regulatory approvals.
Part of the company’s statement read,
“Any acquisition of Crown by Blackstone would be conditional on Blackstone receiving final approval from the casino regulators in each of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. Blackstone has stated that it has engaged with the regulators in relation to this issue and that the regulators’ advisers have indicated to Blackstone that there is no reason to believe that an approval would not be realised.”
“Blackstone has stated that this position is subject to the provision of further information and that the regulators’ advisers are continuing their review.”
“Blackstone has stated that it is prepared to proceed with the proposed transaction upon Blackstone receiving final confirmation of suitability from the regulators, even if the Perth Royal Commission remains ongoing, Crown’s consultation process with the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority remains ongoing, the legislation to implement the recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission is yet to be finalised or passed, or the current AUSTRAC investigations are not completed.”
Blackstone would fund the proposed acquisition via a combination of debt and equity. The organisation holds a current shareholding of 9.99 per cent in Crown, acquired in April 2020 from Melco Resorts & Entertainment for $8.15 per share.
Crown revealed that its board does not have anything to share as yet regarding the latest bid, saying
“It will now assess the proposal, having regard to the value and terms of the proposal and other considerations. It will also engage with relevant stakeholders including regulatory authorities.”
The company has employed the financial advisory services of UBS and Gresham Partners and Herbert Smith Freehills has been added as the legal adviser for the offer.