Crown Resorts Limited (CWN:ASE) announced on the Australian Stock Exchange Monday that they intend to buy-back approximately A$500 million (about US$379m) worth of ordinary shares any time over the course of the next year beginning as soon as March 20, 2017.
Based on the March 3 closing price this would be about 42.9 million ordinary shares or 5.89% of Crown’s issued shares as of that date. The debt-retirement is pending regulatory approvals and would be conducted by UBS Securities Australia Limited.
The program was first announced on Feb. 22 along with a special dividend even while reporting a 47.4% drop in VIP gaming revenue. The company was able to present a special dividend 23 cents higher than policy to bolster shareholder returns from, among other “significant items”, a 75% boost in its bottom line that came mostly from selling a stake in Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL:NASDAQ).
The picture still isn’t entirely rosy owing to a chance Crown’s licenses in Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney coming under possible review if upper-level staff held in China on ‘gambling crimes’ meet convictions.
The company is accused of recruiting visitors on mainland China to gamble in its casinos, which would be a crime in China.