Blackstone completes final Crown hurdle; stocks to be delisted

Blackstone, Crown Resorts acquisition

U.S. investment group Blackstone won approval from Australia’s Federal Court for the takeover of Crown Resorts, completing the last step of the regulatory process. 

Following the approval of the A$8.9 billion ($6.3 billion) bid, shareholders will be paid Crown shareholders will be paid $13.10 cash, likely on June 24, the company said. 

Ending an era, the shares will cease to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange from Wednesday. 

The acquisition got approval from three state regulators last week, which all said they had attached stringent requirements to ensure that the corporate governance and other errors that were revealed in a series of probes into the Australian operator weren’t repeated. 

In giving its approval, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) said it has stipulated a series of measures that the two companies will have to adhere to and which are legally enforceable. 

“In reaching this decision, our specialist team put in many months of work investigating the suitability of the Blackstone Group to become an associate of the Melbourne casino operator,” said VGCCC Chairperson Fran Thorn.

“Our approval comes with stringent conditions which balance delivering stronger controls on the casino and ensuring it continues to be the flagship casino in Australia. We will take action should any of these conditions not be met by either Blackstone or Crown.”

The Gaming and Wagering Commission and the Western Australian government said the approval had been subject to tough conditions. 

These included enhanced reporting to prevent money laundering, non-interference requirements to prevent Blackstone’s institutional investors becoming involved in the day-to-day operations of the Perth casino and the obligation to report any regulatory action by an Australian or overseas body.