Crown probes may scuttle Blackstone bid
Global fund manager Blackstone has given itself more chance to pull out of its proposed purchase of Crown Resorts, should two royal commissions make more trouble for the gaming group.
Crown on Tuesday said Blackstone, which in March offered to buy all shares for $11.85 each, had revised a condition of its bid. The condition required regulators approve the fund manager to run Crown casinos.
Blackstone has since expanded the scope of this condition, in view of royal commissions investigating Crown operations in Melbourne and Perth.
The fund manager has set out a number of damaging possibilities that must not have occurred before a second court hearing for its bid.
This criteria includes the royal commissions recommending Crown's licences be suspended or cancelled, or putting tougher conditions on how they operate.
Any gaming regulator imposing tough conditions on Crown licences may also cause Blackstone to withdraw its bid.
Any decision by NSW authorities not to grant Crown a licence for Sydney's second casino would also trigger the clause.
The royal commissions and regulatory scrutiny follow a NSW inquiry which found the company allowed money laundering and failed to act when notified.
Most of Crown's directors have since resigned, and are being replaced.
Former federal government minister Helen Coonan is running the company as executive chair.
The royal commissions in Victoria and Western Australia are in their early stages.
Blackstone owns about 10 per cent of the gaming group.
Blackstone anticipates it could gain regulators' approval to buy all Crown shares by the third quarter of this year.
Crown said its board continued to assess the proposal.
Shares were down 0.12 per cent to $12.07 at 1411 AEST.
Back to Breaking News
Print this page