Crown takeover ‘a great opportunity that plays to Blackstone’s strengths’

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Blackstone has finalised its “largest transaction to date for the firm in Asia Pacific” after completing the long protracted A$8.9bn (US$6.3bn) Crown Resorts takeover.

The global investment business initially made its move in November 2021 following interest being expressed by a number of parties, and concludes the acquisition days Crown gained offered conditional approval by the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority to commence gaming operations at its the A$2.2bn (US$1.7bn) Crown Sydney Hotel Resort.

“Today, Crown emerges as part of the Blackstone family, which is the start of a new era for this great company and its 20,000 team members,” explained Steve McCann, Crown Resort’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Over recent times, Crown has undergone immense transformation, and we know under Blackstone’s ownership, we will realise our vision to deliver world-class entertainment experiences and a safe and responsible gaming environment.

“Australian tourism has entered a recovery phase, and we believe this trend will continue. Crown’s suite of outstanding assets has built a loyal customer base over the past 28 years, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we revitalise Melbourne and Perth and celebrate the addition of Sydney. 

“With Blackstone’s investment and expertise, we’re confident Crown will cement its place on the global stage as one of the world’s leading owners and operators of integrated resorts.”

The transaction comprises three resort and casino properties in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, regarding which Blackstone affirms that it will work with all stakeholders to “transform … into world-class entertainment destinations and continue Crown’s transformation” on compliance, governance, and integrity.

Alan Miyasaki, Head of Real Estate Acquisitions across Asia for Blackstone, stated: “We are thrilled to become the new owner of Crown, bringing our expertise in hospitality to help the company achieve its full potential as a leading travel and leisure company. 

“We first invested in Crown two years ago, seeing the tremendous underlying potential of the company and its people. 

“We look forward to working with the teams at Crown and applying our experience in owning and operating marquee hospitality brands around the globe with the highest levels of ethics and integrity to create something unique for employees, local communities, and visitors.”

The acquisition of Crown by SS Silver II Pty, an entity owned by funds managed or advised by Blackstone and its affiliates, represents a price of A$13.10 cash per share.

The group, which agreed to the takeover of the group in February, had made a number of acquisitive overtures during the course of many months.

This aforementioned share price comes in at an increase of $0.60 cash per share compared to the previous offer of $12.50, which was announced to the Australian Stock Exchange on November 19, 2021.

Chris Tynan, Head of Real Estate Australia, Blackstone, said: “This is a great opportunity that plays to Blackstone’s strengths – investing significant capital and resources to rebuild Crown into an iconic destination for travel and leisure that everyone can be proud of. 

“Blackstone has built a strong Australian presence over the last 12 years. We look forward to supporting the local economy, creating jobs, and attracting visitors to Crown’s exceptional properties.”