Crown Resorts offloads CrownBet stake for $117M

TAGs: Australia, crown resorts, crownbet

Beleaguered casino operator Crown Resorts has agreed to sell its 62% stake in online betting company CrownBet for A$150 million (US$117 million).

Crown Resorts offloads CrownBet stake for $117MIn a filing, the Australian Stock Exchange-listed company announced that it has entered into agreement with a buyer who Crown Resorts described only as “an entity associated with other shareholders in CrownBet, including CrownBet management team” led by CEO Matthew Tripp.

The deal, which includes the loans advanced by Crown to CrownBet, is still subject to the buyer “arranging satisfactory financing.” Crown said it expects the transaction to be completed by February 2018.

Crown confirmed in November that it had been in talks about the possibility of selling its CrownBet stake, following reports that both British bookmaker William Hill and Dublin-based Paddy Power Betfair—which operates Australian online bookmaker Sportsbet—had expressed interest in the stake.

Offloading the stake in CrownBet, which accounts for roughly 10% of Australia’s domestic wagering market, is part of a long string of asset sales that Crown Resorts announced this year.

Several weeks ago, the casino operator sold a 34.6-acre piece of vacant real estate on Las Vegas Boulevard to U.S. casino operator Wynn Resorts for US$300 million. Crown said it also has a A$60 million deal to sell two mid-level floors of the in-development Crown Sydney Hotel Resort to Crown’s majority shareholder James Packer.

Crown also intends to sell 4.2m shares it holds in Caesars Entertainment Corporation, from which it expects to raise around US$54 million. Crown expects to get an extra A$62.5 millionafter its stake in the Ellerston rural resort, which the company uses to entertain visiting VIPs.

But perhaps the biggest of divestment that Crown made was the sale of its share in the Melco Crown Entertainment (now Melco Resorts & Entertainment) joint venture in Macau and the Philippines in May, which brought an end to the Australian company’s decade-long international joint venture operations.



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