In Australia and casino operator Crown Resorts Limited has reportedly postponed its definitive shareholder vote on the proposed $6.35 billion takeover approach from American private equity management firm The Blackstone Group Incorporated.
According to a Tuesday report from The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, the three-week delay comes as the New York-headquartered suitor is still trying to convince local regulators that it is suitable to take over the company behind the impressive Crown Melbourne, Crown Perth and Crown Sydney facilities.
Crown Resorts Limited reportedly used an official filing (pdf) to declare that The Blackstone Group Incorporated has been making ‘good progress’ in securing approvals from the gambling watchdogs for the states of New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria although final endorsements ‘have not yet been obtained.’ The Sydney-listed operator had purportedly been due to hold a conclusive shareholder vote on the proposed takeover on Friday but has now pushed this ballot back to May 20 in hopes of being able to complete the entire arrangement by June 2.
The newspaper reported that The Blackstone Group Incorporated is the world’s largest alternative asset manager with some $881 billion in aggregated interests and already owns casinos in Latin America and Las Vegas. The firm is purportedly moreover attempting to secure the approval of Northern Territory gaming regulators as this is where Crown Resorts Limited’s interest in the Betfair Australia iGaming enterprise is licensed.
For its part and The Blackstone Group Incorporated reportedly pronounced that it ‘continues to work constructively with regulators in relation to this transaction’ and remains hopeful of being able to complete its acquisition of Crown Resorts Limited so as bring its extensive industry expertise to Australia. Should it receive the green light and the company would purportedly buy all of the Melbourne-headquartered gambling giant’s issued shares at an individual price of approximately $9.35.
This latest news reportedly comes some four weeks after the federal government’s Foreign Investment Review Board signed off on The Blackstone Group Incorporated’s offer for Crown Resorts Limited. This encouraging development purportedly prefaced a revelation from the Chair for the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, Philip Crawford, that his organization had so far found nothing that would scupper the proposed arrangement.
Crown Resorts Limited has reportedly been in turmoil for over a year after the regulator for the state of New South Wales refused it permission to bring a casino to its $1.58 billion Crown Sydney property. This damning move purportedly followed a ruling from a state-run inquiry that the operator may have been complicit in numerous instances of money laundering owing to its past use of foreign junket firms.