Melco Resorts and Entertainment has announced the completion of a deal to acquire 135.4 million shares in operator Crown Resorts at a price of A$13 (US$9) per share.
This works out to 19.99% of the Australian casino, with the transaction to close in two equal tranches on 6 June and 30 September.
James Packer, the majority shareholder of Crown, has reportedly been interested in selling his stake in the company, having stepped down from Crown’s board in March 2018 due to mental health concerns.
Wynn Resorts were in negotiations with the Australian billionaire but pulled out after details of the deal were prematurely leaked.
This agreement with Melco is for almost half of Packer’s stake in Crown, netting him A$1.76bn.
Melco says it will pursue board representation at Crown following approval of the deal from authorities in Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales and other relevant jurisdictions.
Lawrence Ho, Chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, said: "I view Melco’s investment in Crown as an incredible opportunity to purchase a strategic stake in what I believe to be Australia’s premier provider of true integrated resort experiences."