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Blackstone to Acquire Crown Resorts for $6.5 Billion

Crown Resorts announced that it entered into an implementation deed under which its shares will be acquired by Blackstone Inc. for AU$13.10 per share.

Blackstone, Crown Resorts Enter Into Implementation Deed

Crown Resorts, one of Australia’s largest entertainment groups and a leading casino operator, announced on Monday that it entered into an implementation deed with the leading American investment management company, Blackstone Inc. Under the terms of the implementation deed, Blackstone will acquire all of Crown’s shares at a price of AU$13.10 ($9.29) per share. In other words, Crown will be acquired by Blackstone in an acquisition deal with an approximate price tag of AU$8.9 billion ($6.5 billion).

Crown explained that the takeover bid represents a premium of 32% of the closing price of the company’s shares on November 18, 2021, which was AU$9.90 per share. This was the last trading day before Crown received the acquisition proposal from Blackstone with a price of AU$12.50 cash per share.

If no better proposal is offered, the Crown Board recommended its shareholders to vote in favor of Blackstone’s proposal. However, before closing the deal, specific conditions need to be met. Such conditions include an expert report that reaffirms the bid is in the best interests of all Crown shareholders. The takeover proposal is also subject to relevant regulatory approvals as well as other customary conditions.

Crown’s Management Team Share Their Excitement about the Bid

According to Steve McCann, Crown’s managing director and CEO, the recent announcement is a compelling offer for the company’s shareholders to consider. He outlined that the price “reflects the value of Crown’s world-class assets and global reputation for premium service and experiences.” Additionally, McCann said that the agreement with Blackstone reaffirms the strength of the Crown brand.

“The Board has fully considered the Blackstone Transaction and unanimously recommends the proposal, subject to customary conditions such as an independent expert concluding the transaction is in the best interests of Crown shareholders and there being no superior proposal.”

Ziggy Switkowski, chairman at Crown Resorts

Crown’s recently appointed chairman, Ziggy Switkowski, added that the board has considered and unanimously recommends Blackstone’s proposal. Moreover, he explained that maximizing value for Crown shareholders has always been a key priority for the company’s board.

“The all-cash offer provides shareholders with certainty of value.”

Ziggy Switkowski, chairman at Crown Resorts

Switkowski explained that despite the pandemic-related difficulties and regulatory processes, the management and the Board made good progress. However, according to him, “uncertainty remains and having regard to those circumstances and the underlying value of Crown we believe the Blackstone Transaction represents an attractive outcome for shareholders.”

Currently, Blackstone already owns a 9.99% stake in Crown. The company acquired that share back in April 2020 after purchasing it from Melco Resorts and Entertainment. Overall, the latest bid is the fourth that the company offered to take over Crown Resorts.