Crown probes may scuttle Blackstone bid

Global fund manager Blackstone has changed a condition of its proposed purchase of Crown Resorts, as two royal commissions threaten to strip licences from the gaming group.

Crown on Tuesday said Blackstone had revised the regulatory approval condition of its offer to buy all shares for $11.85 each.

The fund manager previously said it wanted regulatory confirmation that Blackstone was suitable to own and operate Crown’s licences in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Blackstone has since expanded the condition. 

It now guards against any of Crown’s Victorian or Western Australian casino licences being threatened, suspended or cancelled, or the NSW licence not being granted, before a second court hearing on the acquisition.

Royal commissions are being held for Crown’s operations in Victoria and Western Australia after a NSW inquiry found the company facilitated money laundering.

The condition also guards against any gaming regulator or royal commissioner imposing any changes on Crown.

Blackstone could gain regulatory approval to buy the casino group by the third quarter of this year, according to Crown.

Crown said its board continued to assess the proposal.

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