FIRB Gives Approval to Blackstone’s Acquisition of Crown

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has approved the acquisition of Crown Resorts by the US investment firm Blackstone Inc (NYSE: BX).

A filing to the Australian Stock Exchange from Crown Resorts revealed that Blackstone had received written confirmation from the FIRB that the Commonwealth Government has no objections to the proposed acquisition.

Blackstone has confirmed that the FIRB condition contained in clause 3.1(a) of the Scheme Implementation Deed dated 14 February 2022 (a copy of which was released to the ASX on 14 February 2022) has now been satisfied. The implementation of the Scheme remains subject to a number of other conditions, including approval from Gaming Regulatory Authorities, Crown shareholder approval and Court approval, as outlined in the Scheme Implementation Deed.

Crown Resorts Statement

After a number of different offers made by Blackstone in February, Crown’s board unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the AU$8.9 billion offer. The offer will result in Blackstone acquiring all of the shares in Crown Resorts through a scheme of arrangement at the cost of AU$13.50 cash per share.

Blackstone first made an offer in March 2021 of AU$11.85 cash per share. Over a decade later, the final offer that was accepted represents an increase in the equity value of over AU$845 million.

In addition to Blackstone, the investment group Oaktree Capital Management had also expressed an interest in Crown, but it failed to secure the support of the board.

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