Blackstone Bids To Snap Up Australian Casino Operator Crown Resorts

US private equity firm Blackstone Group has made a takeover offer to acquire the struggling Australia-based casino operator, Crown Resorts Limited, for an indicative price of A$11.85 cash per share.

Blackstone’s (BX) offer price reflects a 19% premium to the casino operator’s average stock price since its first-half 2021 results were reported on Feb. 18.

Notably, Blackstone already owns a 9.99% stake in Crown which it acquired through Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited in April 2020.

Per the terms of the deal, the indicative offer price will be reduced by the amount of any dividend declared or paid by Crown. The casino operator said that it is assessing the offer.

Last week, Blackstone announced that it has agreed to buy European environmental service company DESOTEC through its private equity funds. DESOTEC engages in developing, producing, and supplying mobile purification solutions based on activated carbon technology, enabling clean water, air, and soil. (See Blackstone stock analysis on TipRanks)

Jürgen Pinker, Blackstone’s Senior Managing Director said, “We are proud to invest in an innovative, mission-driven environmental leader like DESOTEC. The company is a perfect fit for our core private equity strategy, which seeks to identify exceptionally high-quality businesses with strong tailwinds at their backs and support them for the long term.”

On March 18, Oppenheimer analyst Christopher Kotowski downgraded Blackstone to Hold from Buy and rescinded the price target stating that the stock trades above his previous price target of $71.

In a note to investors, Kotowski wrote, “We stress that there is no fundamental change in our estimates or outlook. We continue to view the company as a solid growth story and appropriate for long-term growth-oriented investors not sensitive to valuation.”

Turning now to the rest of the Wall Street community, Blackstone has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 7 Buys and 4 Holds. The average analyst price target of $72.40 implies that the stock is fully priced at current levels. Shares have rallied 84.6% in one year.

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