Blackstone Inc.’s $6.3 billion takeover of Crown Resorts Ltd. in Australia moved closer to approval after regulators in two Australian states allowed the US private equity giant to operate a casino.
Casino regulators in the states of New South Wales and Victoria had approved the takeover of ASX-listed Crown CWN.
by Blackstone BX,
Crown said Thursday. He said regulatory approval in the state of Western Australia was still required.
Blackstone already owns real estate assets in Australia and gambling businesses in other countries. He first offered to buy Crown in 2021 for A$11.85 ($8.52) per share and repeatedly increased his offer until Crown accepted a cash offer of $13.10. A per share in February 2022.
The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority and the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission said in separate statements on Thursday that Blackstone had agreed to a series of operational changes recommended by investigations into Crown.
“Our approval comes with stringent conditions that balance putting tighter controls in place on the casino and ensuring it continues to be Australia’s flagship casino,” the Victorian casino regulator said.
“We will take action if any of these conditions are not met by Blackstone or Crown,” he said.
The opening of Crown’s new Sydney casino in 2020 has been delayed after an investigation in New South Wales found that the company’s bank accounts were being used to launder money and that it was working in a manner inappropriate with so-called junket operators in Asia to bring in players.
A separate investigation in Victoria revealed that Crown had engaged in unlawful and dishonest behaviour. The commission of inquiry said in 2021 that the closure of Melbourne’s city center casino would have negative economic effects and recommended a series of changes, including additional monitoring and regular reporting to regulators.
Crown shares rose 1.8% to A$12.98.