Australia's Crown seeks approval to lift Echo stake to 25 pct
SYDNEY, July 4 |
SYDNEY, July 4 (Reuters) - Australian casino group Crown Ltd said on Wednesday it is now seeking regulatory approval to raise its stake in rival Echo Entertainment to up to 25 percent from its current holding of 10 percent.
Crown and south east Asia's largest gambling group Genting , which also owns about 10 percent of Echo, have been circling the operator of the Sydney casino.
This year Crown, controlled by billionaire James Packer, had sought regulatory approval to go above 10 percent but has now amended the application to as high as 25 percent.
Under Echo's constitution, no single party can hold more than 10 percent without regulatory approval.
Crown said the regulators have accepted the amended application and no decision has been made.
Genting has also applied to raise its stake beyond 10 percent and sources with direct knowledge have said it would be meeting regulators this week to present its case.
On Tuesday, the regulators allowed fund manager Perpetual to raise its stake in Echo to up to 15 percent. Perpetual had sought regulatory permission in late 2011.
But Thomson Reuters data shows Perpetual currently has a stake in Echo of only 3.72 percent.
(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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