Law firm Addisons has provided gambling regulatory advice to Starwood Capital Group (Starwood), and other lenders, in connection with the financing of Blackstone’s AUD$8.9 billion acquisition of Crown Resorts Limited (Crown). The deal is the most significant transaction to have occurred involving the Australian casino sector.
In February 2022, an entity owned by funds managed or advised by Blackstone Inc. and its affiliates (Blackstone) and Crown entered into a scheme of arrangement for the public to private acquisition of Crown. The scheme of arrangement was implemented on 24 June 2022.
The acquisition was financed by Starwood through a c. AUD$5.4 billion facility and by affiliated Blackstone debt funds. The financing was supported by a $500 million working capital facility arranged by Deutsche Bank.
As the acquisition related to the leading Australian casino operator licensed in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, the transaction was subject to regulatory oversight.
Allen & Overy was retained by Starwood to advise on the financing arrangements relating to the acquisition. Addisons assisted Allen & Overy in advising Starwood on all Australian gambling-regulatory aspects of the financing arrangements for the acquisition.
The Addisons team was led by Partner Jamie Nettleton and Senior Associate Shanna Protic Dib of the Gambling Law Group and was supported by Partner Rob Kerr and Solicitor Donna Kwon of the Corporate Group, as well as other members of the Gambling Law Group.
Jamie Nettleton, Addisons’ Gambling Law Partner, commented, “Addisons is pleased to have assisted Starwood and Allen & Overy on the gambling law implications of Starwood’s financing of the acquisition of Crown by Blackstone. This involved advising Starwood in understanding the gambling regulatory regime applying to Crown and its casinos, which is contained in a number of laws and governmental agreements across three states.”