/ 15 February 2022

Crown accepts multi-billion dollar takeover offer

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty


Crown Resorts has is set to be bought by US private equity firm Blackstone for $8.9 billion in a deal that would cut the cord between Australia’s biggest casino operator and billionaire James Packer. The Crown board said it will recommend the $13.10/share offer to shareholders and a vote will be held between April and June. Packer owns 37% of the company and is set to receive $3.26 billion for his share.


Let’s dust those issues off… Issues with Crown’s business practices surfaced in 2016 when 19 of its staff were arrested in China for illegally promoting gambling. And Nine’s exposé on claims there had been breaches of the money laundering laws by some notable/nasty crime figures got the regulators riled up… A NSW inquiry found Crown was unfit to hold a casino license in the state, just as it was set to open its swanky new Sydney operation. Similar findings were reached by a Royal Commission in Victoria, although Crown was given time to fix things. And there’s one more report to come – that’s from the Royal Commission in Western Oz, which is due next month.  


The deal needs clearance from gaming regulators in each state where Crown operates – they want to know the casinos are being operated by ‘fit and proper’ people. Blackstone has already jumped through some of those hoops because it is already Crown’s 2nd biggest shareholder. It’s not a done deal yet, but analysts say it’s more likely thanks to the recent leadership of chairman/respected businessman Ziggy Switkowski. And it means it’s almost the end of the casino road for James Packer, who shifted his family’s business interests away from media – moves that were big news back in the day. He recently told biographer/The Australian journo Damon Kitney “of course I’m sad about the separation, but it’s the right thing to do” (paywall). 

Know someone who'd be interested in this story? Click to share...

The Squiz Today

Your shortcut to being informed, we've got your news needs covered.

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

Quick, agenda-free news that doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.