Bidding War Approaches For Crown Resorts After Wynn Drops Out
A bidding war could be on the cards for Australian based Crown Resorts after Wynn Resorts decided to drop its acquisition talks with the company this week, following the premature disclosure of their deal negotiations.
The takeover offer by the world’s second largest casino company was made public on Tuesday and was confirmed by Crown management. However, just a few hours later, Wynn released a statement saying the potential A$10 billion ($7.1 billion) sale talks had been terminated.
The bidding game could become intense as it is quite possible that Australian casino mogul James Packer, who controls Crown Resorts may yet land a deal with one of its rival companies such as the Malaysia-headquartered Genting Bhd or even Hard Rock International Inc.
The Australian market is not new to Genting, which operates resorts in the US and Singapore. The Malaysia-based company once owned around 10% of Star Entertainment Group Ltd which is the biggest rival to Crown in Australia. Genting sold its stake in Start Entertainment in 2017.
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Hard Rock International has a strong foothold in North America but is looking to expand its brand in international markets and a deal with Crown would enable the company to do this. For now, both Genting and Hard Rock are preferring to remain silent on the matter.
David Bonnet, managing partner at Delta State Holdings Ltd, said other companies operating in Singapore and Macau might also set their eyes on Crown due to the potential synergies. An acquisition deal would be beneficial for Asian operators as it would serve as their only ticket to a monopolized market.
The latest development makes Crown an attractive prospect for key players in the casino industry as a successful buyout would be the biggest of its type in over a decade.
Packer Embroiled in Scandals
In recent years, billionaire Packer has been rocked by a series of scandals, threatening his career as a gambling mogul. In late 2016, over a dozen Crown employees were arrested and convicted of illegally promoting gambling in mainland China. The Aussie businessman also had a sour public breakup with one-time fiancée Mariah Carey.
In March 2019, it was revealed that Packer allegedly gave gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who currently faces corruption charges. There are some analysts who believe that it is only a matter of time before Packer completely sells out and leaves the gambling industry.