Travel And Hospitality
Crown Resorts Ltd. supported a $6.3 billion buyout from private equity goliath Blackstone Inc., providing billionaire James Packer an exodus from the Australian casino firm plagued by scandals and regulatory setbacks.
Packer will sell his company a decade and a half after he created Crown to shift away from the Packer family’s media empire in a bid to reinvent the dynasty as a gambling business.
The casino company backed the bid after Blackstone raised its offer to A$13.10 per share last month. It was the fourth time the U.S.-based private equity firm improved its offer since making an offer in March. The deal will be submitted to a shareholder vote in the second quarter.
Blackstone, which already holds around 10% of Crown, will take over a company facing regulator scrutiny after official investigations found it had knowingly dealt with criminal organizations then misled the authorities about it.
The gambling license for Crown’s flagship A$2.2 billion casino skyscraper in Sydney remains suspended over a year after it was due to open. Crown’s primary earner is its Melbourne casino, which must operate with a government-appointed supervisor for the next two years.
Just weeks after Australian regulators placed Crown under government-supervised reforms aimed at stamping out money laundering at its casinos, Blackstone revived its takeover bid for Crown in late November 2021 with an offer of A$12.50 per share before raising the offer by 4.8% last month.