James Packer’s private firm open to Blackstone’s $6 billion buyout proposal for Crown Resorts

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd adorns a hotel and casino complex in Melbourne, Australia, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed

(Reuters) -Billionaire James Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) said on Tuesday it was open to considering private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc’s A$8.02 billion ($6.13 billion) proposal to buy Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd.

Blackstone in March had proposed to buy Crown Resorts in a deal valuing the troubled casino operator at $6.2 billion, a markdown from its value a year ago but a possible reprieve from regulatory pressure.

Top shareholder Packer has been heavily criticized over his alleged influence over Crown despite quitting the board in 2018, with an enquiry by a state asking for a resolution on the ownership before allowing the company to hold a casino license in New South Wales.

Packer is expected to receive about A$2.9 billion from the Blackstone deal.

CPH on Tuesday also said it has hired Moelis Australia to advise it on its nearly 37% stake, adding that it will engage with relevant stakeholders including regulatory authorities for the proposal.