New York-listed casino operator Wynn Resorts has made a move to acquire Australia’s largest casino operator Crown Resorts.

Crown confirmed Tuesday that it is in confidential discussions with Wynn regarding a potential change of control transaction, with Wynn proposing a AUD$10bn cash and stock offer, valuing Crown Resorts at $14.75 per share.

This represents a 26 per cent premium on Crown’s closing price of $11.72 per share on Monday.

The proposal is subject to a number of conditions including due diligence, Wynn obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals, and a recommendation by the Crown board.

The acquisition would be Wynn’s first in Australia and expand its operations beyond Las Vegas and Macau, where it operates Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace in Cotai.

Melbourne-based Crown Resorts currently owns two leading integrated resorts, Crown Melbourne Entertainment Complex and Crown Perth Entertainment Complex, as well as Crown Aspinalls in London. It also holds interests in various digital businesses, including Betfair Australasia, DGN Games (85 per cent stake) and Chill Gaming (50 per stake), as well as equity interests in UK-based Aspers Group and Nobu.

“The discussions between Crown and Wynn are at a preliminary stage and no agreement has been reached between the parties in relation to the structure, value or terms of a transaction,” Crown Resorts said in a statement. “There is no certainty that these discussions will result in a transaction.”

The board of directors of Crown Resorts is yet to consider the Wynn proposal.

Shares in Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX:CWN) soared by 19.68 per cent to $14.05 per share in Sydney Tuesday following the news, while shares in Wynn Resorts Ltd (NYQ:WYNN) closed up 2.77 per cent at US$144.85 in New York Monday.


GIQ Magazine Digital Edition