20/05/2022 - 12:35

Vote on Crown deal sails through

20/05/2022 - 12:35

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Blackstone’s $8.9 billion proposal to buy Crown Resorts has won over shareholders, but the deal still hinges on gaming regulatory approval from Victoria, NSW and Western Australia.

Vote on Crown deal sails through
Crown shareholders have voted in favour of a Blackstone takeover. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Blackstone’s $8.9 billion proposal to buy Crown Resorts has won over shareholders, but the deal still hinges on gaming regulatory approval from Victoria, NSW and Western Australia.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly for the scheme of arrangement at a virtual meeting this morning, with 99.2 per cent of votes cast by shareholders in favour of the deal.

As a result, the US investment giant will acquire Crown Resorts in an all-cash deal for $13.10 per share, implying an overall value of about $8.87 billion.  

It was Blackstone’s fourth bid for casino operator, initially proposing $11.85 per share in March before lifting its offer to $12.35 and $12.50.

While shareholder approval ticks off a key item, the deal still hinges on obtaining gaming regulatory approvals from regulators in Victoria, NSW and WA.

The Gaming and Wagering Commission and its counterparts in these states have been tasked with assessing Blackstone to determine if it is a suitable party to hold gambling licences. 

Blackstone already has extensive casino exposure, with interests in the US and South America. 

Updates on the process have been few and far between, however. 

Crown chair Ziggy Switkowski said the company had been informed by Blackstone that it was continuing to consult with relevant authorities.

“That process is on-going and in its final stages, which will extend into June,” Mr Switkowski told shareholders today.

The shareholder vote had initially been scheduled for April 29 but was pushed back to allow more time to obtain said approval, despite making “good progress” in obtaining them.

In a statement ahead of the vote today, Crown said it had decided to proceed with the shareholder vote to “reduce any potential delays” between receiving approvals and completing the transaction.

Crown will next apply to the Federal Court of Australia to approve the scheme, which it says will also be pushed back to the week of June 6 in the hope of coinciding with regulatory sign-off. 

Crown shares were up 0.27 per cent at 2:07 pm AEST to trade at $12.86.

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