US-Based Private Equity Giant Gets Approval for Crown Bid
A bid to buy Crown for AUD8.9 billion has received the approval of the gaming regulators in both NSW and Victoria. Crown said on Thursday that the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission and the NSW Independent Gaming and Liquor Authority (ILGA) have approved Blackstone’s proposed acquisition of the Victorian and NSW casinos. As it stands, the NSW government has yet to decide on the Barangaroo casino proposed by the casino and entertainment business. This is also likely to be in the mix.
Crown was recently hit with an $80 million fine by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC). High rollers at its Melbourne casino were able to bypass anti-money laundering processes and China’s currency limitations as a result of its transgressions.
As stated by the VGCCC, the purchase of Crown by Blackstone Business represents an important change to Crown’s activities. This is in light of the rigorous probity checks that the operator and its affiliates have been subject to.
“In reaching this decision, our specialist team put in many months of work investigating the suitability of the Blackstone Group to become an associate of the Melbourne casino operator. Our approval comes with stringent conditions which balance delivering stronger controls on the casino and ensuring it continues to be the flagship casino in Australia. We will take action should any of these conditions not be met by either Blackstone or Crown.”VGCCC chairperson Fran Thorn.
Crown Melbourne must still address several of the recommendations made last year by the Royal Commission investigating the casino operator and license. Moreover, it will still be subject to the Commission’s suitability review in 2024 and operate under the designated special management.
New York City-based Blackstone Inc. made its debut in 1985 and has other operations in Asia, Europe, and North America. Real estate, private equity, hedge funds, credit, secondary funds of funds, public debt and equity, and multi-asset class strategies are some of its specialties.
It is usual for the company to invest in early-stage businesses. It also provides services in the stock markets. As part of the real estate business, the company focuses on opportunistic and core+ commercial real estate investment opportunities, as well as debt investment opportunities where commercial real estate serves as collateral.
In recent years, the global investing giant has established itself as the leading foreign deal maker in the commercial property market of Australia. It has engaged in more purchases and sales than any other business with a headquarters abroad.