Australia's Crown says Oaktree's new $2.4 billion offer could give it 10% stake

June 14, 2021 7:28 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australia's casino operator Crown Resorts adorns a fence surrounding the Crown Perth hotel and casino complex in Western Australia, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Bunch

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(Reuters) -Crown Resorts said on Tuesday Oaktree Capital Group had offered it A$3.1 billion ($2.39 billion) to buyback its founder's holding, in a deal that would give the private-equity giant a 10% stake in Crown.

The latest proposal from Oaktree is for a A$2 billion private loan and a A$1.1 billion loan convertible into new shares to be issued by Crown, the company said in a statement.

Oaktree's offer is slightly higher than the A$3 billion in funding it offered in April to help Crown buy back James Packer's 37% stake.

Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group had offered an all-stock buyout of the troubled company valued at A$9 billion, while rival buyout giant Blackstone Group upped its all-cash indicative bid to A$8.4 billion.

Billionaire Packer's status as Crown's major shareholder has been under scrutiny ever since an inquiry named his influence as a reason for declaring the company unfit for a Sydney casino licence in February, citing activities including money laundering.

According to the terms for the convertible loan, the number of new Crown shares to be issued to Oaktree on conversion would be capped at a 10% stake in Crown.

Oaktree could convert the A$1.1 billion loan into new Crown shares at A$13 per share under some specified circumstances, including after the first year of the facility, provided shares trade above that amount, the company said. Crown's shares last closed at A$12.220.

Crown said it had yet not decided on the proposal.

($1 = 1.2967 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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