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Oaktree offer puts a fresh shine on Crown

3 minute read

The logo of Australia's casino operator Crown Resorts adorns a fence surrounding the Crown Perth hotel and casino complex in Western Australia, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Bunch

HONG KONG, June 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oaktree Capital Management has revised its offer to lend Crown Resorts (CWN.AX) money to buy back some or all of founder James Packer’s stock, the casino company said on Tuesday. The package consists of a A$2 billion ($1.5 billion) loan and A$1.1 billion in convertible debt that could give Oaktree up to a 9.99% stake. Assuming the $3.1 billion covered the full 37% stake, it equates to roughly A$12.40 per share.

That’s higher than the bids from buyout shop Blackstone (BX.N) and rival casino operator Star Entertainment's (SGR.AX). They’re vying to take control of the entire company and may now have to improve their own offers.

Even so, Blackstone could win out. If it can pass muster with casino regulators quickly, as it has hinted, the deal delivers all shareholders a timely exit from a troubled company. On Friday, the state of Victoria extended its inquiry into Crown read more – a reminder that regulatory risk is still very much alive and kicking. (By Katrina Hamlin)

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