U.S. investment group, Blackstone, has completed its A$8.9 billion ($6.1 billion) acquisition of Crown Resorts, saying it aims to rebuild the Australian operator into an “iconic destination for travel.”
Shareholders were paid A$13.10 in cash as per the terms of the offer, which Crown accepted in February after it was sweetened for a third time.
Blackstone said the Crown purchase is its largest to date in the Asia Pacific region.
“This is a great opportunity that plays to Blackstone’s strengths – investing significant capital and resources to rebuild Crown into an iconic destination for travel and leisure that everyone can be proud of. Blackstone has built a strong Australian presence over the last 12 years,” said Chris Tynan, Head of Real Estate Australia, Blackstone. “We look forward to supporting the local economy, creating jobs, and attracting visitors to Crown’s exceptional properties.”
Crown Resorts is Australia’s largest casino operator with properties in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. However, its reputation has been tarnished after it was found unsuitable to hold its casino license in the three states in which it operates.
It has undergone senior executive changes and revamped its corporate governance and reporting procedures, especially with regard to AML.
Crown CEO Steve McCann said the takeover was the start of a new era for Crown.
“Over recent times, Crown has undergone an immense transformation, and we know under Blackstone’s ownership, we will realize our vision to deliver world-class entertainment experiences and a safe and responsible gaming environment,” he said.
“Australian tourism has entered a recovery phase, and we believe this trend will continue,” he said. “Crown’s suite of outstanding assets has built a loyal customer base over the past 28 years, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we revitalize Melbourne and Perth and celebrate the addition of Sydney.”
The Australian newspaper reported that McCann is undecided about his future at the company.