Wynn Resorts makes $7B play for Australia’s Crown Resorts

Wynn Resorts makes $7B play for Australia’s Crown Resorts

Wynn Resorts abandoned plans to buy one of Australia’s largest gaming and entertainment groups.

The Las Vegas company had approached Crown Resorts about a 10 billion Australian dollar ($7.1 billion) takeover, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement early on Tuesday.

Several hours later Wynn said the talks were off.

“Following the premature disclosure of preliminary discussions, Wynn Resorts has terminated all discussions with Crown Resorts concerning any transaction,” it said in a statement.

The cash and stock offer from Wynn valued Crown shares at 14.75 Australian dollars ($10.51) each.

Investors had welcomed the possibility of a US buyout — shares in Crown spiked 21% in Sydney. Wynn Resort shares were trading nearly 4% lower after news that the approach to Crown had been dropped.

Wynn Resorts owns casinos in Las Vegas, Macau and Boston. Founder Steve Wynn was a high roller in the gambling world for decades, during which time he was credited as helping to transform Las Vegas casinos from gambling dens into entertainment hubs that offer spectacular shows and high-end restaurants.

He stepped down as CEO of the company last year, after allegations of sexual misconduct pressured the billionaire casino mogul and sent the company’s stock tumbling.

Crown also lost a key figure last year, when Australian billionaire James Packer resigned from the board for personal reasons. Packer is best known in the United States for his brief engagement to pop singer Mariah Carey.

Crown owns casinos in Australia and London. The company exited Macau in 2017, after China’s crackdown on gambling led to prison sentences for a senior executive and 15 colleagues.