Investment firm Blackstone Inc has overcome an important regulatory hurdle in its effort to acquire all the shares of Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd in a deal that values the gaming firm at AUD8.9 billion (US$6.66 billion at current exchange rates).
Crown Resorts said in a Tuesday filing to the Australian Securities Exchange that the Australian federal government had no objection to the deal involving Blackstone unit SS Silver II Pty Ltd, and known as a scheme of arrangement.
The written confirmation had been passed to the Blackstone group by the country’s Foreign Investment Review Board.
“The implementation of the scheme remains subject to a number of other conditions, including approval from gaming regulatory authorities, Crown shareholder approval, and court approval, as outlined in the scheme implementation deed,” said the casino firm in its latest filing.
In Australia, casino gaming is regulated at state level. Crown Resorts has gaming and non-gaming operations at Crown Melbourne in Victoria (pictured), and Crown Perth, in Western Australia. For now, the company also has non-gaming business at Crown Sydney in New South Wales.
According to the implementation deed, a first hearing in the Federal Court of Australia on the takeover is due on Tuesday (March 29). There will then be a meeting on April 29 about the scheme. A second federal court hearing is due on May 3
The implementation date for the scheme is due to be May 12.
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