SYDNEY, AAP – US investment giant Blackstone has launched another bid to buy Crown Resorts.
Crown told the share market on Friday it had received an unsolicited bid from Blackstone to buy all of the shares in the company for $12.50 cash per share.
It’s an increase on Blackstone’s previous attempts to acquire the beleaguered casino operator, with offers on the table of $11.85 in March and $12.35 in May.
The deal would require final approval from casino regulators in Victoria, NSW and Western Australia.
The offer comes as Crown weathers further scrutiny of its operations in Western Australia, with a royal commission still under way.
Crown was last month castigated for “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative” behaviour by a Victorian royal commission, but was allowed to keep its casino licence.
In NSW, an inquiry by former judge Patricia Bergin found in February that Crown was unfit to run a casino at its luxury Barangaroo complex in Sydney.
The regulatory troubles have already led to a clean out of the Crown Resorts board and the loss of its chief executive and chair.
It’s also weighed heavily on results, with the company posting a $261.6 million full-year loss for the 2021 financial year.
The acquisition offer is subject to a unanimous recommendation from the Crown board and due diligence by Blackstone, as well as an agreement relating to Crown’s casino licences.
Blackstone currently holds 9.99 per cent of shares in Crown, which it bought in April 2020.
Crown’s board told the ASX it had not yet formed a view on the proposal and would engage with stakeholders and regulators.