Crown Resorts Called for Opening Books to Blackstone Following Third Acquisition Bid from the US Company

Olivia Cole

Crown Resorts is currently being urged to allow the US alternative investment management firm Blackstone Inc. to inspect its books hoping it will manage to convince the suitor to boost its latest offer to acquire the Australian gambling giant’s assets.

A few days ago, it was revealed that Blackstone made a third takeover bid worth AU$8.46 billion for the casino company, following two previous acquisition attempts that got turned down as too low earlier in 2021.

While the third takeover offer of Blackstone is being considered by Crown Resorts, it still remains unclear whether the deal could be thwarted by the recommendations that the Royal Commission of the state of Victoria handed down in October. According to some experts, such as Wilson Asset Management’s portfolio manager John Ayoub, the recent overhaul of the casino group’s board should engage with Blackstone’s bid and start negotiations over a higher takeover price.

As shared by Mr Ayoub, it was probably enough due diligence so the management of Crown Resorts could explore the possibilities of reaching a deal with Blackstone. Some analysts believe there could be a further increase in the proposed takeover price, so they recommended the Australian gambling giant explore such options.

Latest Takeover Offer of Blackstone Could Fuel Interest of Other Potential Bidders for Crown Resorts’ Assets

The latest acquisition all-cash bid of Blackstone, which estimates Crown Resorts to AU$12.50 per share, was officially revealed on November 19th. The takeover price is 15 cents higher than the one offered by the US private equity firm in May and 65 cents higher than Blackstone’s first takeover bid in March. Both takeover offers were rejected by Crown Resorts as too low.

According to Mr Ayoub, the AU$12.50-a-share proposal was “a good backstop price” that could be used to check on the intentions of other potential bidders, especially The Star Entertainment Group, which already approached Crown Resorts with a merger offer in May 2021. He also believes that the Australian casino and gambling giant left the worst behind its back and expects to hear a lot more news about the company over the following three to six months.

The new offer was made less than a month after the Royal Commission of Victoria decided to allow Crown Resorts to keep the operating licence for its flagship casino in Melbourne, although the company was found to have breached various legal and ethical issues, including the infiltration of organised crime in the casino. The Victorian Royal Commission’s decision lifted some of the uncertainty hanging over the future of Crown Resorts in the state.

As Casino Guardian already reports, there is another Royal Commission’s decision that is expected to decide on the company’s Perth casino licence. The Royal Commission in Western Australia is expected to report in March 2022. At the same time, Crown Resorts is making efforts to have its operating licence in Sydney reinstated after in January 2021 the New South Wales (NSW) Royal Commission found it unsuitable to run its Barangaroo casino in Sydney.

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.

Daniel Williams
Author: Wanda Peters