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Blackstone makes A$8 billion bid for Crown Resorts

Crown Resorts has confirmed it has received an unsolicited, non-binding, indicative proposal from The Blackstone Group Inc to buy out all of its shares in an A$8 billion deal. 

Crown on Monday confirmed to the ASX that it had received the offer from Blackstone on Sunday, with an indicative price of A$11.85 per share, a 19 percent premium on the price of Crown share since the release of its FY21H1 results. 

According to AFR’s Street Talk, the New York-based private equity firm has been watching developments at Crown very closely. Blackstone’s team, which is led by Chris Tynan in Sydney has been “waiting for the right time to pounce.”

Blackstone already has a 9.99 percent stake in Crown, which it acquired from Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited for $8.15 a share just twelve months prior. 

Crown’s shares have nearly halved since its high of A$18 in 2014. Since then the company has seen a crackdown of its employees in China in 2016, an aborted takeover by Wynn Resorts in early 2019, the covid-19 pandemic, along with several ongoing inquiries into the company’s anti-money laundering practices across NSW, Victoria and WA.  

The deal may also finally give Crown’s majority shareholder James Packer a path to exit the company, which would shed his influence as a “close associate” of the company once and for all - a point made by Patricia Bergin in the recent NSW inquiry. 

Crown on Monday said it has not yet formed a view on the proposal and will commence a process to assess its merits. 

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