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Crown (ASX:CWN) share price jumps 8% on revised takeover bid

The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price has leapt 8% in morning trade after receiving a revised takeover bid of $13.10 per share from private equity outfit Blackstone.

Currently, the Crown share price is at $12.55 per share, 4.2% below the indicative offer price.

CWN share price

Source: Rask Media CWN 2-year share price
Source: Rask Media CWN 2-year share price

Fourth time lucky

In November, Blackstone proposed $12.50 per share for Crown, which was later declined by the Crown Board.

However, the casino giant allowed Blackstone access to non-public information to prepare a revised offer.

Today’s offer is Blackstone’s 4th attempt at securing full ownership. It currently holds a 9.99% shareholding.

Crown (ASX:CWN) share price under spotlight on takeover update

Any final bids?

After consulting its advisors, the Crown Board believes it is in the best interests of shareholders to vote in favour of the proposal, in the absence of a superior proposal and an independent expert concluding the transaction is in shareholders best interest.

“…it is the Crown Board’s current unanimous intention to recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the proposal”

The $13.10 per share offer remains subject to several conditions including:

  • Completion of due diligence
  • Unanimous support and recommendation by the Crown Board
  • Execution of a binding Implementation Agreement
  • Blackstone received final approval from the casino regulators in Victoria, NSW and WA

Notably, Blackstone has previously stated it is willing to proceed with the deal despite the uncertainty around state investigations in Victoria, NSW and WA.

Crown shareholders do not need to take any action at this stage.

Effectively, it’s the third and final bidding round.

Any other suitors need to make their intentions known.

Could Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) come back to the table with a better offer, after its initial merger offer in May?

A bidding war is boosting the Crown (ASX:CWN) share price

Otherwise pending the aforementioned conditions, Crown will be sold to Blackstone.

My take

As flagged just two days ago, it makes sense for Crown to go private given the currently regulatory heat it’s receiving.

The company has previously flirted with private ownership but hasn’t led to anything but disappointment.

But with the Board now indicating it will recommend the $13.10 offer, this is a notable change in tune.

It wouldn’t surprise me if another bidder emerged. However, Blackstone seems to be in the box seat given its near 10% shareholding and due diligence headstart.

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At the time of publishing, Lachlan does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies or funds mentioned.

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