The proposed AU$8.9-billion acquisition of Crown Resorts has received a final stamp of approval in the middle of the week.
On June 15th, the Federal Court officially gave the green light to Blackstone’s planned takeover of the troubled Australian gambling giant. The decision of the Federal Court has been pointed out as the final hurdle in the deal’s approval process, especially after the US private equity firm has already been given the nod by the Governments in the states of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and Western Australia.
The acquisition, which was also approved by Crown Resorts’ shareholders in May, is set to see the billionaire investor James Packer exit the company in return for a payday worth AU$3.36-billion for his 37% stake in the Australian gambling giant. Mr Packer has been involved with Crown Resorts since 1999.
The ruling of the Federal Court comes less than a week following the decision of the gambling regulator in Western Australia to give the green light to the proposed takeover deal, following its NSW and Victoria counterparts’ example. State regulatory bodies, however, have noted that Crown Resorts will remain subject to strict conditions after the deal is finalised.
According to some analysts, the completion of Blackstone’s acquisition of Crown Resorts would pave the way for the company’s AU$2.2-billion Sydney waterfront casino at Barangaroo to finally start operation after the gambling floor of the venue has been banned for almost 2 years.
James Packer to Finally Exit Crown Resorts in Return to AU$3.36-Billion Payday
The completion of the AU$8.9-billion takeover will mean that Crown Resorts is set to become a private company and will no longer be required to report to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
The deal is set to be finalised on June 24th after the money between the two companies changes hands. James Packer is expected to officially exit the Australian gambling giant following the takeover’s completion.
Over the past few years, Mr Packer has been constantly blamed for the poor state Crown Resorts is in, and the moves against him left him with little choice but to sell out his stake in the company. He was harshly criticised because of his relationship with Chinese businessman Laurence Ho, which came to light particularly at the time when he was aimed at building the company’s Barangaroo casino in Sydney. Previously, the billionaire investor in one of the largest gambling operators in the country tried to leave Crown Resorts in 2019, but the would-be buyer withdrew its proposal in the face of the then-ongoing controversy.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the gambling operator has been involved in a number of scandals, which resulted in the company facing a monetary fine for illegally promoting gambling services in China, as well as a few damaging inquiries that found that the casino company had been linked to criminal organisations and allowed money laundering.
The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and the border closures and lockdowns associated with it only added to the sufferings of Crown Resorts which has experienced a share price and profit decline.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.