Asian casino operator, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limite, has reportedly announced the signing of a deal worth almost $1.22 billion that is to see it acquire a significant stake in Australian counterpart Crown Resorts Limited.

Momentous move:

According to a Thursday report, the Hong Kong-headquartered firm revealed that the agreement will involve it purchasing some 135.35 million shares in Crown Resorts each individually priced at nearly $8.99 to give it’s an eventual shareholding of around 19.99%.

Packer portfolio:

Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited is responsible for the Studio City Macau, City of Dreams Macau and Altira Macau integrated casino resorts in Macau and it reportedly also declared that the shares are to be procured out of the 47% stake currently held by CPH Crown Holdings Proprietary Limited, which is an entity controlled by the former Chairman for Crown Resorts Limited, James Packer.

Listed on New York City’s Nasdaq bourse, Melco Resorts is moreover behind the City of Dreams Manila property in the Philippines and it reportedly stated that it is to obtain the shares in Crown via ‘two equal tranches’ on June 6 and September 30. The operator additionally proclaimed that it subsequently intends to seek representation on the Melbourne-based firm’s board ‘commensurate with its ownership position’ before investigating the possibility of increasing its stake even further.

Prodigious prospect:

Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Melco, reportedly told GGRAsia that he views the deals for shares in Crown Resorts ‘as an incredible opportunity to purchase a strategic stake’ in what he believes to be ‘Australia’s premier provider of true integrated resort experiences.’

Spacious selection:

For its part, Crown Resorts Limited operates the Crown Perth facility in Western Australia as well as Victoria’s much larger Crown Melbourne venue. The firm furthermore runs the Crown London Aspinalls concern in the United Kingdom and is in the process of building a $4.4 billion integrated casino resort in the Barangaroo district of central Sydney.

Coming full circle:

Crown established Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited in partnership with Ho’s Melco International Development Limited enterprise in 2004. However, the Sydney-listed operator soon began gradually divesting its shareholding in what was then known as Melco Crown Entertainment Limited and had sold off its final 11.2% stake in the joint venture by May of 2017.

Ho reportedly stated…

“I personally know the management at Crown [Resorts Limited] and look forward to working with them to further enhance both [the company’s] performance and development in Australia and the appeal of [the company’s] properties to international patrons.”