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Hard Rock-linked consortium interested in ‘potential transactions, no ‘substantive discussions’ yet: The Star

The Star Entertainment Group has refuted reports that it had received a takeover bid from US-based Hard Rock, but indicates that other parties have reached out, including a local partner of the operator.

In a Monday statement, the company noted that ‘it has not received a proposal directly from Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos […] however, the company has received inbound interest from a number of other external parties regarding potential transactions including a consortium of investors which includes the entity Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts (Pacific)’.

Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts, Hard Rock International

The group notes that ‘at this stage, none of the approaches has resulted in substantive discussions’.

The group furthers that ‘the nature of the interest to date has been confidential, unsolicited, preliminary and non-binding’.

The Star is Australia’s second-largest operator and is still embroiled in the middle of remediation activities in both the state of New South Wales and Queensland – including its participation in the Bell Two Inquiry into its suitability to hold a Sydney casino license.

The group on May 17th announced that it had seen its gaming licenses for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane casinos extended from May 31st to December 20th, to ‘allow the Queensland Government to consider the outcomes of the Second Bell Inquiry into The Star in New South Wales and better assess The Star’s remediation progress, before making further decisions’.

The extension goes beyond the already extended term of the Special Manager, appointed to oversee the Queensland properties, which will end on December 8th.

The final report for the Bell Two Inquiry is expected on July 31st.

Speculation has been rife as to whether The Star will be able to hold on to its licenses in both states – particularly in New South Wales, due to the Second Bell Inquiry, prompting questions of whether rival Crown Resorts would be interested in a possible takeover of the group’s gaming license, if that were allowed by authorities.

Speaking to AGB previously, Crown Resorts CEO Ciarán Carruthers did not indicate whether Crown now held a competitive advantage over The Star in New South Wales, as indicated by some analysts. The executive noted that the group’s success in its remediation efforts – demonstrated by being found suitable to maintain its casino license in (both Melbourne and) Sydney “helps us competitively in terms of rebuilding trust within the local community and allows us to speak more authoritatively in terms of what we’re doing as we engage with the community”.

The news of a possible takeover of The Star caused shares in the firm to soar by some 20 percent in Monday trading.

Hard Rock International has since released a statement noting that it ‘is not involved in, nor has it authorized, any discussions, activities or negotiations on its behalf in connection with a proposed bid for Star’.

Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelm is a broadcast, print journalist and editor based in Asia for over 15 years. Focused on content creation, management, cross-cultural exchange and interviews for multi-lingual productions. Writing focus on gaming, business, politics, culture and heritage, events and celebrities, subcultures, music, film, art and fashion. Some of Kelsey's specialties are: editing, writing, copy creation, multi-lingual content production, cross-cultural exchange, content creation and management for Asian markets.



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