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Blackstone returns with $8.5b bid for embattled Crown casinos


Blackstone has lobbed an increased bid for Jamie Packer’s Crown Casino, valuing the embattled company at $8.5 billion.

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The revived offer sent Crown shares soaring 15 per cent this morning.

The non-binding bid at $12.50 a share follows previous offers starting at $11.85 and most recently at $12.35.

The offer has several conditions including unanimous backing from the Crown board.

“Any acquisition of Crown by Blackstone would be conditional on Blackstone receiving final approval from the casino regulators in Victoria, NSW and Western Australia,” Crown said.

Blackstone has already started talks with the regulators and has received an indication that there was no reason to believe that an approval would not be given.

Blackstone has said it was prepared to proceed with the proposed transaction if and when it received final confirmation of suitability from regulators.

There are still a host of hurdles, including a WA Royal Commission, further consultation with the NSW regulators, legislation in Victoria following a Royal Commission there and AUSTRAC investigations.

Blackstone already has a 9.9 per cent stake in Crown that it bought from Melco Resorts in April for $8.15 a share.

Crown said its board had not yet formed a view on the merits of the scheme.

“It will now assess the proposal having regard to the value and terms of the proposal and other considerations,” it said.


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