Crown Resort shareholders approve Blackstone’s 6.3 billion purchase offer

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Shareholders of Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd approved a 6.3 billion purchase by US private equity giant Blackstone Inc. on Friday, with 99.91% voting in favor of the deal at the scheme meeting.

Last month, Crown Resorts postponed its scheme meeting, saying that Blackstone gaming regulators had made good progress in getting approval, but had not yet received the necessary approvals.

The outcome of the vote brings billionaire James Packer one step closer to the exit route from an Australian casino firm damaged by scandals and a regulatory catastrophe, effectively ending one of Australia’s one-story business dynasties.

Crown said it has set a May 24 court hearing for the scheme.

Earlier, adviser Grant Samuel – who was hired by the Crown as an independent expert – said the scheme consideration was “fair, even if no incidental liability comes up.”

Packer, Crown’s largest shareholder and founder, will cash in on its chips worth about A $ 3.3 billion ($ 2.32 billion) a decade and a half after the company was formed. (1 = 1.4237 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Harish Sreedharan and Indranil Sarkar in Bangalore; Edited by Rashmi Ich)

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