Crown Resorts moves to accept Blackstone’s takeover bid
The Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) board has announced its intention to accept the “revised non-binding proposal from Blackstone to acquire all of its shares by way of a scheme of arrangement at $13.10 cash per share.
It’s been a long-running saga, with this the fourth bid from Blackstone, whose previous offers were deemed not compelling by Crown management. With Blackstone increasing its bid by 60 cents a share to $13.10, the offer is a lot more compelling. Crown even says it will encourage Blackstone to make a binding bid. If Blackstone makes a binding offer of the same value or more, Crown said “its board would unanimously recommend investors accept.”
Crown shares surged on the back of the news, closing up almost 9%. The new offer now puts Blackstone in pole position to take Crown and steer it back to its former glory.
If the bid goes ahead, it will end James Packer’s reign as a major shareholder with the company, which has been tainted by a money-laundering scandal and the links to criminal organisations in China who helped bring in high-rolling gamblers.
Following the revelations, Crown shares tumbled to a low of $7.60 during March 2020, but have since recovered to $12.63, a 66% increase. There are no other groups currently vying to buy Crown. Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR) and asset manager Oaktree Capital last year made unsuccessful bids.