Blackstone Inc’s proposed AUD8.9-billion (US$6.39-billion at current exchange rates) acquisition of Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd has been approved by Western Australia’s Minister for Racing and Gaming, and its Gaming and Wagering Commission. That is according to a Friday filing by Crown Resorts, to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The Western Australia regulator oversees Crown Perth (pictured in a file photo).
Prior to the Friday announcement, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC), that oversees Crown Melbourne, and the New South Wales Independent Gaming and Liquor Authority (ILGA), that oversees Crown Sydney, had approved the Blackstone’s proposed takeover bid.
The acquisition deal involves a so-called scheme of arrangement, whereby SS Silver II Pty Ltd, an entity owned by funds managed or advised by Blackstone and its affiliates, is to take control of Crown Resorts.
Western Australia’s gaming regulator and the state’s racing and gaming minister, Tony Buti, approved the acquisition deal subject to “tough conditions”, a release by the Western Australia government stated.
Those conditions included “enhanced reporting of anti-money laundering and responsible gaming activities and additional auditing requirements of Crown”. There were also “non-interference requirements” designed to ensure Blackstone’s institutional investors do not have involvement in the daily operations of Crown Perth.
Blackstone’s takeover bid still has to be approved by the Federal Court of Australia, with a hearing scheduled for June 15.
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