Home Business Big Business How Crown botched its much-hyped US takeover deal

How Crown botched its much-hyped US takeover deal

James Packer loses out again in high stakes game of M&A

Aleks Vickovich

Digital Editor, Your Money

Few business transactions in recent memory have received the hype of yesterday’s reported takeover of Crown by Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant Wynn Resorts.

Despite a federal election being effectively underway, the proposed bid even took top spot on Nine’s 6pm TV news bulletin, acknowledging the significant prospect that the channel’s former owner, the Packer family, would no longer lead any major listed Australian company.

Read: Will James Packer sell the last jewel in the Crown?

But overnight, Wynn Resorts threw cold water over the deal, issuing a statement that any transaction is now off the table due to Crown’s “premature disclosure” of the proposal.

Speaking to Trading Day, market analyst Elio D’amato of Lincoln Indicators said the backflip highlights the “high stakes nature of [merger and acquisition] activity” especially when the transaction becomes public.

“Yesterday was an interesting announcement from Crown and they did say the discussion was meant to be private and confidential.”

More broadly D’amato said the Australian gaming industry is somewhat stagnated of late and that Crown is a casualty of the declining conditions.

“The question now is for Crown really ‘where to next?’ especially as it’s clear that the people at the helm have put the ‘for sale’ sign up.”

The collapsed deal follows a number of difficult business and personal setbacks for James Packer in recent years, as his biographer Damon Kitney reflected on in a recent interview with TICKY.

Watch the video above for more on the Wynn-Crown deal collapse. 

Read: The trials, tribulations and turnaround of James Packer
More: 5 things you didn’t know about Australia’s richest people
More: Will James Packer sell the last jewel in the Crown?