Deal Signed by January?
The first proposal was rejected, with the Crown casino group citing the offer as not compelling. Blackstone then saw two further bids rejected by the group. After three failed bids, many experts thought the deal would not go ahead. But Blackstone was not done and decided to table the fourth bid. By increasing the offer by AU$0.60 per share, they have added around AU$1 billion to the deal. This 5% increase to their bid looks like it may be enough to secure the deal. The major investors in the bid agreed that the increase was acceptable, considering that Crown covers some of the biggest land-based casinos in Australia. James Packer, who owns 37% of the stock, has said that they support this new offer. If that is the case, the deal may be signed and delivered by the end of January.
Major Shareholders on Board
Other large shareholders have also expressed their consent to allow the deal to go through. Perpetual, the investment manager that owns 9.2%, said it was currently happy with the offer. But they said they were still open to further offers if they should arise. Crown shares rose over 9% to a high of AU$12.68 when the news of the new offer broke. That is the highest value the shares have held since June 2021. But it is still well below the value that Blackstone is offering. That is good news for Blackstone since it is unlikely there will be any rival bids.
Will Blackstone Secure the Deal?
So as things stand, it looks like Blackstone will be successful with their latest bid. Crown has been facing a lot of criticism in the last year for its conduct. That caused Star Entertainment Group to withdraw a A$9 billion buyout proposal. They are still in the fray, and we may see an offer from the group before the deal is complete. But as it stands, it looks like Blackstone may be the winner. We should know by the end of January.
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