The Courier-Mail

US suitor rejigs its $8bn bid

- LACHLAN MOFFET GRAY

JAMES Packer’s third attempt in less than three years to sell Crown Resorts could be done and dusted by the end of the year after US private equity suitor Blackstone revised its $8bn buyout offer.

But the offer is conditiona­l on the casino giant emerging from two royal commission­s relatively unscathed.

Crown Resorts said the $11.85 per share scheme of arrangemen­t still contained a stipulatio­n that Blackstone, which currently owns 10 per cent of Crown, would receive approval from regulators in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia to fully buy out the company.

The bid no longer contained the provision that Blackstone also be deemed a suitable person as licencee. Blackstone said the offer hinges only on receiving regulatory approval for the takeover, with the additional stipulatio­n that it can withdraw its bid if state regulators threaten to or make “material adverse change” to Crown’s casino licences before the second court hearing of the takeover process.

Crown is yet to accept the takeover offer but Blackstone expects it will receive the necessary regulatory approvals for the take over in the “third quarter” of the year.

Mr Packer (inset), who owns 37 per cent of Crown, has indicated he is open to the sale.

Crown shares fell 2c to $12.07 on Tuesday.

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