Here’s why the Crown share price is climbing higher today

The takeover of Crown Resorts is one step closer.

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Three women laughing and enjoying their gambling winnings while sitting at a poker machine

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Key points

  • The Crown share price is trading higher after shareholders voted to accept its takeover offer this morning
  • Private equity firm Blackstone is offering $13.10 a share via a scheme of arrangement
  • Crown’s board encouraged shareholders to vote in favour of the takeover deal

The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price gained ground as shareholders overwhelmingly voted to approve its takeover.

A resounding 99.75% of shareholders voted for the deal, although state regulators have yet to give their blessing, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Shares in the casino operator are up 0.5% to $12.88 at the time of writing, as private equity firm Blackstone Inc (NYSE: BX) cleared another obstacle in its bid for Australia’s largest casino operator.

Crown share price firms as board backs vote

The takeover offer is priced at $13.10 a share via a scheme of arrangement. Crown’s board threw its support behind the deal, pointing out that the independent expert Grant Samuel found the offer to be “fair and reasonable”.

Also, Crown’s board reckoned the offer was priced at a “significant premium”. Some may not quite feel that way given that the private equity giant is offering a 4.8% premium to the $12.50 that the Crown share price was trading at just ahead of the takeover announcement.

But given that Crown was unable to elicit a better counteroffer, I don’t think embattled shareholders wanting out are likely to get a better deal. At least they can take some comfort from knowing that the multiples Blackstone is offering are largely in line with comparable deals.

The further advantage is that post-takeover, Crown’s many regulatory issues become someone else’s problem.

What happens next

If the vote is carried, Crown will ask for a short adjournment at a court hearing on 24 May.

The company will then announce to the ASX Blackstone’s required gaming regulatory approvals and the date for the final court hearing.

The scheme will only be effective when Crown lodges the court orders approving the scheme with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

It will take around seven days from there for the scheme to be implemented. Crown shareholders can expect their payment following that.

End to a volatile year could be near

Given the time value of money, this probably explains the slim discount to the Crown share price versus the offer price.

It has been a volatile 12 months for the company. The Crown share price had collapsed to a 10-year low of $8.61 in June last year before rallying on the takeover bid to trade flat.

Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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