SYDNEY, AAP – Crown Resorts leaders are not pinning their hopes on a Blackstone takeover and have spruiked the potential of the Sydney casino to encourage higher offers.
Crown leaders on Monday gave little away about progress of talks with the US private equity group but made clear they are open to other prospective partners and opportunities.
Chief executive Steve McCann made reference to Blackstone’s unsuccessful $8.46 billion offer ($12.50 per share), the third of its unsolicited bids.
“We’ve made it clear we don’t think that offers compelling value (for shareholders),” Mr McCann said.
“We’ll be looking at every alternative to try and maximise value.
“The first step is getting Crown Sydney open and making sure the market can see the value of these fantastic assets and get trading up post-pandemic.
“We won’t be dismissing any alternative.”
Star Entertainment Group and asset manager Oaktree Capital have also this year made bids for the casino group, which has struggled due to the pandemic and anti-money laundering lapses.
However Blackstone could yet prevail. Crown has given Blackstone access to private financial details to help the suitor reconsider its offer.
The Sydney casino is partially open. Its accommodation and restaurant operations are trading. Gaming is slated for early next year.
Crown’s controls to prevent criminal activity were blasted for being substandard at the recent inquiries into its Melbourne and Sydney casinos.
The findings of a royal commission into its Perth casino are due on March 4.
Billionaire James Packer’s private company CPH holds about 37 per cent of Crown.
Shares in the company on the ASX were up 0.26 per cent to $11.48 at 1556 AEDT.