A $3 billion Australian dollar ($2.3 billion) offer by U.S. private equity company Oaktree Capital to buy James Packer's 37% stake in troubled Australia casino company Crown Resorts will get a look, the target company said Monday
Oaktree's offer of a "structured instrument" to help Crown buy back Packer's 37% stake was made just a month after Blackstone initiated an A$8 billion full takeover offer.
Packer has taken heavy criticism about Crown's operations after regulators rejected its application for a gambling license for a new casino resort in Sydney, citing activities including money laundering. The regulatory ruling also threatens the gambling operator's licenses in two other cities.
The billionaire, who left the Crown board in 2018, indicated earlier this month that he was open to selling his stake as part of the Blackstone Group takeover proposition that would see him pocket nearly A$3 billion.
Consolidated Press Holdings, Packer's private company that holds the Crown stake, Oaktree and Blackstone did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Oaktree's approach in not including Packer would enable Crown to resolve regulatory issues without disposing of the whole company at a price below pre-pandemic levels.
"There's obviously a reason Oaktree doesn't want some element of the business or wants to get some uplift in the return that accrues to them, above and beyond the return of a normal shareholder," Reuters quoted Angus Gluskie, managing chief of White Funds Management, as saying.
Shares of Crown inched up 1% at A$12.06 Monday.