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Crown Resorts has agreed to enter into unique takeover talks with Blackstone Group after the US non-public fairness group sweetened its bid to purchase the under-pressure Australian gaming firm for about A$8.9bn (US$6.5bn). 

The revised supply values Crown at A$13.10 per share, up by A$0.60 per share or about A$1bn in more money from a previous proposal Blackstone made to the on line casino enterprise, backed by Australian billionaire James Packer, in November.

The newest bid comes after the gaming firm’s board final yr rebuffed a number of presents from the US buyout group, which already owns 9.99 per cent of Crown.

Crown has, since Might, been on the centre of a bidding battle between Blackstone and smaller on line casino rival Star Leisure, which has pursued a merger.

Star withdrew its curiosity in July when Australian authorities stated Crown might probably lose its playing licence following an investigation into cash laundering accusations. That risk was lifted in September after the investigation ended and Sydney-based Star has continued to precise curiosity in reviving its A$12bn merger plan.

Blackstone might be finishing its due diligence within the coming days and if it decides to make a binding supply with a minimum of A$13.10 per share, the bid might be unanimously accepted by Crown’s board, the Australian firm said in a statement.

The deal highlights Blackstone’s continued curiosity in proudly owning casinos because the non-public fairness investor agreed in 2019 to accumulate from MGM the true property belongings of the Bellagio Lodge and On line casino in Las Vegas for $4.25bn

Blackstone first approached Crown after Australian regulators dominated in early 2021 that the gaming firm was not match to function a brand new A$2.2bn on line casino resort in Sydney due to issues about cash laundering and poor company governance.

The deal additionally highlights the continued curiosity by world traders in seizing Australian belongings regardless of the pandemic.

The Australian market has been probably the most lively for offers over the previous yr pushed by low cost finance and personal capital focusing on listed belongings starting from telecoms to airports to the funds themselves.

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