By Mike Cherney 
 

SYDNEY--U.S. investment firm Blackstone Group, which last month offered to acquire troubled Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd., has made the deal contingent on Crown's casino licenses not being cancelled by gaming regulators, Crown said Tuesday.

Blackstone also made other changes to the so-called regulatory approval conditions of the deal, including that Blackstone receive approval from the gaming regulators in the various Australian states to acquire Crown shares.

Blackstone also made the deal contingent on Crown's license for a new casino in Sydney ultimately being granted. And if any royal commissioners in Victoria or Western Australia, or the presiding members of any other similar regulatory inquiry, recommends a cancellation or suspension of Crown's casino licenses, that could also be grounds for Blackstone to back out of the deal, Crown said.

Crown is facing multiple investigations from Australian regulators related to its business practices, such as its operations in China, where at one point it was aggressively courting high rollers, and its relationships with junket operators.

An inquiry set up by the gambling regulator in New South Wales state concluded that Crown isn't suitable to operate the new casino on Sydney's waterfront without significant changes.

Crown said it is continuing to assess the proposal, which offered 11.85 Australian dollars ($9.04) per share for Crown and valuing the company at roughly $6 billion. It reiterated that there is no guarantee a transaction will occur.

Crown said Tuesday that Blackstone expects to receive approval to acquire Crown shares from various regulators by the third quarter of this year. It also said the Blackstone deal is not conditional on arranging debt financing.

 

Write to Mike Cherney at mike.cherney@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 12, 2021 20:50 ET (00:50 GMT)

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