Crown Resorts rejects Blackstone’s proposal and keeps Star under review

By Violeta Prockyte

Crown Resorts has rejected the Blackstone Group’s proposal to acquire all of Crown’s shares at a price of AU$12.35 ($9.58) per share.

The price per share came from a revised proposal, with the previous figure being AU$11.85 per share.

According to the statement, Crown considered the revised proposal with the help of financial and legal advisers, and the company’s board has “unanimously concluded it undervalues Crown and is not in the best interests of Crown’s shareholders."

The operator noted that, despite the revisions, Blackstone’s proposal contained uncertainty regarding timing and the outcome of regulatory approval conditions.

Other considerations from the board included the value of Crown and its assets, including the Sydney casino that is only open at limited capacity; and “the substantial reduction in Crown’s debt which is expected to occur through the balance of the calendar year as a result of receiving proceeds from the sale of Crown Sydney apartments.”

Another deciding factor was a long implementation timeframe and Blackstone’s insistence to deduct shareholder dividends from the indicative offer price. “The board is committed to maximising value for all Crown shareholders and will carefully consider any acquisition proposal that is consistent with this objective,” said the statement.

Crown may have rejected the Blackstone Group proposal, but the merger proposal from The Star Entertainment Group is still under review and the board is debating its merits.

According to the statement, to facilitate the Crown board’s assessment of the merger proposal, Crown has requested Star to provide further information.

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