News National Court approves $8.9 billion Crown takeover

Court approves $8.9 billion Crown takeover

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The $8.9 billion takeover of Crown Resorts by US private equity giant Blackstone has cleared its final hurdle with the federal court approving the acquisition.

Billionaire James Packer, who owns 37 per cent of Crown shares, is set to receive $3.26 billion from the sale, after the court approved the deal on Wednesday.

Crown’s lawyer David Batt QC made some last-minute changes to the deal, requiring more than $67 million worth of shares be excluded as they were owned by a company related to Blackstone.

“In our submission, the scheme is in every respect appropriate for approval of the court,” he said.

Justice Stewart Anderson approved the deal with the amendments.

Shareholders, including Mr Packer, will receive their payout after the deal is finalised on June 24.

In an announcement to shareholders, Crown said its shares will be suspended from trading on the ASX when the market closes on Wednesday.

The casino giant said shareholders will be paid $13.10 cash per share for shares held as of 7 pm on June 17 and it will lodge a copy of the court orders with ASIC, making the scheme legally effective from Wednesday.

The takeover ends years of turmoil for Crown after inquiries in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia all found the company unfit to run its casinos amid widespread law breaking.

The deal means Crown Resorts will become a private company that is not required to report to the ASX.

In May, the casino giant said 92 per cent of Crown shareholders supported the scheme, with 99.9 per cent of their shares cast in favour.

Blackstone is a private equity firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange that invests on behalf of pension funds, large institutions and individuals.