Australia's Crown Resorts gets sweetened $6.2 billion offer from Blackstone

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd adorns the hotel and casino complex in Melbourne, Australia, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed

(Reuters) -Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd received a sweetened non-binding takeover proposal from funds managed by Blackstone Inc that valued it at A$8.46 billion ($6.16 billion), the embattled casino firm said on Friday.

Funds managed and advised by the U.S. private-equity firm and its affiliates have offered Crown shareholders A$12.50 in cash per share, a 26.2% premium to the stock’s last close.

Crown rejected an all-cash A$12.35 per share offer from Blackstone Group in May calling it too low, favouring a A$9 billion bid from Star Entertainment Group that was withdrawn in July by the rival casino operator.

“The Crown board has not yet formed a view on the merits of the proposal. It will now assess the proposal, having regard to the value and terms of the proposal and other considerations,” the casino firm said in a statement on Friday.

Blackstone, which currently owns about 10% in Crown, confirmed the offer without commenting further, while a representative of Star Entertainment was not immediately available for a comment.

($1 = 1.3738 Australian dollars)

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