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.
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.
Wynn Resorts walks away from talks on a potential $7.1 billion bid for Crown Resorts, citing premature disclosure of the talks https://t.co/2QrUnLuWdX
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 9, 2019
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.