Crown receives renewed bid from Blackstone at A$12.50 cash per share

Australian casino operator Crown Resorts on Friday said it had received a renewed takeover offer from U.S. private equity firm Blackstone, which is looking to acquire all shares in Crown at a price of A$12.50 cash per share. 

The renewed offering is up from its previous acquisition proposal of A$11.85 cash per share, which was made in March this year, and $12.35 cash per share made in May, which was rejected by Crown, saying the proposal had undervalued Crown and is not in the interest of its shareholders. 

J.P. Morgan analyst Don Carducci at the time said the rejection of the offer was likely a “poker bluff” aimed at making Blackstone further revise its bid upwards, which now appears to be true. 

Blackstone said it is prepared to proceed with the proposed transaction upon receiving final confirmation of suitability from each of the casino regulators in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, and said it has engaged with the regulators in relation to the issue already. 

The private equity firm also noted that the inquiries into Crown Resorts by the Perth Royal Commission, the consultation process with the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, and the legislation to implement recommendations from  Victorian Royal Commission is yet to be passed, whilst investigations from AUSTRAC are not yet completed. Blackstone said the outcomes of these may impact the proposed transaction.