Australian Federal Court approves Blackstone’s $6.3 bln Crown Resorts deal

Australia’s Federal Court approved on Wednesday the $6.3 billion acquisition of the country’s largest casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd (CWN.AX) by U.S. private equity giant Blackstone Inc (BX.N).

The approval follows nods from state regulators in Western Australia (WA), New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria last week, and gives billionaire James Packer an exit route from the Australian casino firm, beset by scandals and regulatory setbacks, in which he owns a 37% stake.

“Crown will also request that quotation of Crown shares on the ASX be suspended from close of trading today,” the company said in a statement.

Crown shareholders will receive A$13.10 cash per share on June 24, expected to be the date of scheme implementation.

State regulators have said the company will be subject to tough conditions, including additional auditing and a commitment to invest in and maintain Crown’s Perth casino.

The company said it will lodge an official copy of the court orders with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Wednesday, making the deal legally effective.

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