Blackstone increases Crown Resorts takeover bid

By Peter Lynch

Crown Resorts has received a revised non-binding proposal from a group on behalf of funds managed by Blackstone Inc. and its affiliates, to acquire all of Crown’s shares at a price of AU$13.10 (US$9.55) cash per share.

The offer represents an increase of AU$0.60 cash per share from the previous offer of AU$12.50 from Blackstone on 19 November 2021. According to Bloomberg, the US private equity firm has increased its offer to $AU8.9bn, with the buyout firm already owning 10% of the Australian casino operator.

Crown noted that following advice from financial and legal advisers, the board has considered it in the interest of shareholders to engage further with Blackstone on a non-exclusive basis.

“Should Blackstone make a binding offer at a price of no less than $13.10 cash per share then, subject to the parties entering into a binding Implementation Agreement on terms and conditions acceptable to Crown, it is the Crown Board's current unanimous intention to recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the proposal in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an Independent Expert concluding (and continuing to conclude) that the proposed transaction is in the best interests of Crown shareholders,” a statement from the operator read.

The revised proposal is subject to the same conditions as the proposal from November, including completing further due diligence, unanimous support and recommendation by the Crown Board. Blackstone must also receive final approval from casino regulators in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

“The Crown Board notes that there is no certainty that the discussions between Crown and Blackstone will result in a change of control transaction or an offer capable of acceptance by Crown shareholders,” the operator continued.

“The Crown Board is focused on maximising value for Crown shareholders and will carefully consider any proposal that is consistent with this objective.”



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