Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd rebuffs Blackstone Group’s $6.5 billion buyout offer

On Monday, Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd said it is not interested in U.S. private equity giant Blackstone Group Inc’s buyout offer since it undervalued its assets and the potential deal would not be in the best interest of its shareholders.

Last week, Blackstone upped its all-cash offer for Crown to $6.54 billion (A$8.4 billion) as Star Entertainment Group emerged as a suitor for the company. Oaktree Capital has also offered to fund a A$3 billion buyback of founder James Packer’s stake in Crown.

In a separate statement Crown said, it had yet to come to a decision on Star’s proposal and is in the process of seeking more details from its casino rival to “better understand various preliminary matters”.

Interest in the Australian casino operator perked up after its share price took a hit due to COVID-19 related lockdowns and a regulatory scrutiny in New South Wales that led to its gambling licence to operate in the state being revoked.

Crown has prized tourism and real estate assets across Australia.

Crown has said it aims to hold on to its prized assets and is aiming to significantly slash its debt in the future, leading its board to doubt the value of Blackstone’s offer.

It also cited uncertainty around regulatory approval conditions as a reason for rebuffing Blackstone’s approach.

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