Blackstone has revealed that real estate funds and private equity funds managed by the company have completed the acquisition of Crown Resorts Limited in the largest transaction to date for the firm in Asia-Pacific. The transaction comprises three premium resort and casino properties in Australia in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
According to other media outlets, the deal was worth $6.3 billion.
Blackstone will work with the management team at Crown and its thousands of employees, as well as their representatives from the United Workers Union and other partner unions, to transform these properties into world-class entertainment destinations and continue Crown’s transformation to operate at the highest standards of compliance, governance and integrity, according to the company.
As one of Australia’s largest entertainment groups, Crown makes a major contribution to the Australian economy. Crown’s core businesses include two of Australia’s leading integrated resorts, Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, as well as Sydney’s latest premium hotel resort and dining precinct at Crown Sydney.
“We are thrilled to become the new owner of Crown, bringing our expertise in hospitality to help the company achieve its full potential as a leading travel and leisure company,” said Alan Miyasaki, head of real estate acquisitions Asia, Blackstone. “We first invested in Crown two years ago, seeing the tremendous underlying potential of the company and its people. We look forward to working with the teams at Crown and applying our experience in owning and operating marquee hospitality brands around the globe with the highest levels of ethics and integrity to create something unique for employees, local communities and visitors.”
Chris Tynan, head of real estate Australia, Blackstone, said, “This is a great opportunity that plays to Blackstone’s strengths—investing significant capital and resources to rebuild Crown into an iconic destination for travel and leisure that everyone can be proud of. Blackstone has built a strong Australian presence over the last 12 years. We look forward to supporting the local economy, creating jobs and attracting visitors to Crown’s exceptional properties.”
Steve McCann, CEO, Crown Resorts, said, “Today, Crown emerges as part of the Blackstone family, which is the start of a new era for this great company and its 20,000 team members. Over recent times, Crown has undergone an immense transformation, and we know under Blackstone’s ownership, we will realize our vision to deliver world-class entertainment experiences and a safe and responsible gaming environment.”
He added, “Australian tourism has entered a recovery phase, and we believe this trend will continue. Crown’s suite of outstanding assets has built a loyal customer base over the past 28 years, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we revitalize Melbourne and Perth and celebrate the addition of Sydney. With Blackstone’s investment and expertise, we’re confident Crown will cement its place on the global stage as one of the world’s leading owners and operators of integrated resorts.”
Blackstone has built a strong track record in the wider hospitality, travel and leisure sectors, the company reports. The firm completed the sale of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas this year, after transforming the property into one of the most vibrant destinations on the Las Vegas Strip. During its eight-year ownership, Blackstone implemented significant operational changes and invested significant capital to renovate 3,000 guestrooms and enhance F&B offerings. In addition, Blackstone owned Hilton Hotels Corporation for 11 years, during which it helped double the size of the company to more than 5,300 properties and 400,000 employees worldwide. Its other recent investments in these sectors include the acquisition of an eight-hotel portfolio across Japan’s top tourist destinations; the acquisition of Bourne Leisure, a British holiday company; and the joint acquisition of Extended Stay America.