Anne Davies, 22 March 2021
Billionaire James Packer has been offered a new exit strategy from Crown Resorts after the company received an unsolicited bid from private equity company Blackstone Group.
Blackstone, which already has a 10% holding in the casino giant, has offered to acquire all of the shares in Crown through a scheme of arrangement.
It is offering $11.85 a share, representing a 19% premium to the volume-weighted average price of Crown shares since the release of its first half results for the financial year 2021.
The offer to acquire the company offers Packer a new way to leave the company he founded after a horror few years for the mogul which began with the arrest of 19 staff in China in October 2016 for allegedly breaching Chinese laws against soliciting gamblers.
A year later Packer revealed his ongoing serious mental health issues and was photographed checking into a private clinic in the US.
The arrests in China, coupled with President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on the movement of capital out of China hit Crown’s high roller revenues hard. Revenues were further slashed by Covid-19 which prompted long closures of gaming facilities nationwide.