Casino giant calls off $10bn Crown takeover talks

Crown Towers.
Crown Towers.

CROWN Resorts says Wynn Resorts has ended talks over a $10 billion cash-and-scrip takeover proposal by the Las Vegas gambling giant.

“Wynn has announced that it has terminated all discussions with Crown concerning any transaction,” the James Packer-controlled casino operator said on Wednesday, just a day after announcing the talks to the ASX.

Crown shares soared 20 per cent on the news but Wynn said overnight it had pulled out of discussions “following the premature disclosure of preliminary discussions”.

Yesterday Crown Resorts’ shares soared after the casino operator said it was in talks with Wynn over a $10 billion cash-and-scrip takeover proposal of anĀ implied value of $14.75 per share.

That represents a 25.6 per cent premium to the stock’s $11.74 price before trade was paused ahead of the announcement.

The shares surged by as much as 22 per cent to $14.33 and were still more than 20 per cent higher at 1115 AEDT on Tuesday.

Crown, majority owned by Mr Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings, has operations in Melbourne, Perth, and London, and has a luxury resort development in Sydney’s Barangaroo due to be completed in 2021.

The company has endured a turbulent three-year period in which it retreated from its expansion plans in Las Vegas and Macau, while 19 of its staff were arrested and jailed in 2017 for promoting gambling in China.

Mr Packer quit the Crown board in March 2018.

In February, the company reported a 26.7 per cent drop in first-half profit to $174.9 million.