Crown Resorts has confirmed an $8 billion takeover bid from American investment management company Blackstone.

The deal would see Blackstone acquire all of the shares in Crown for $11.85 cash per share – representing a premium of 19 per cent to the average price of Crown shares since the release of its 1H FY21 results.

Blackstone currently holds a 9.99 per cent interest in the casino operator, which was acquired for for $8.15 per share from Melco Resorts in April 2020.

In a statement to the ASX, Crown said the bid was still subject to due diligence and a unanimous recommendation from the board.

“Crown shareholders do not need to take any action in relation to the proposal at this stage. There is no certainty that the proposal will result in a transaction.”

The offer comes as Crown continues to reel in the fallout of the NSW Bergin Inquiry, which found it had facilitated money laundering and did business with figures linked to organised crime – it was concluded the company was “unsuitable” to hold a casino licence in the state.

outside shot of Crown resorts in Melbourne

Blackstone already owns 10 per cent of Crown

A mass overhaul of the company’s executive and board followed, with Crown chief executive Ken Barton stepping down.

Gaming floors at Crown Sydney remain shut while the company tries to satisfy the NSW gambling regulator it is implementing reforms to make itself a suitable casino licence holder.
The findings in NSW also sparked action from regulators in Victoria and Western Australia – the other two states in which Crown operates.
Victoria’s Royal Commission started public hearings this week, with Crown Resorts saying it does not accept the New South Wales finding claiming it “wilfully facilitated money laundering” at its Melbourne site on Southbank.
Premier Daniel Andrews has said he’s prepared to rip up Crown’s licence if the Royal Commission makes adverse findings.
The $10 million inquiry is due to report back by August.

Western Australia announced its own Royal Commission into Crown over allegations of junkets and facilitating money laundering, with interim findings expected to be delivered by June.