Is Wynn Back At The Crown Table?

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Is Crown Resorts moving back in the sights of Wynn, the US casino’s group?

Wynn revealed Friday US time that it is looking to sell its nearly competed $US2.6 billion casino in outside of Boston to rival casino operator, MGM Resorts International.

Wynn which abandoned a bid for Crown last month, announced the possible sale in a statement, along with one from MGM.

Wynn was awarded its Massachusetts license in 2013, allowing it to go ahead with building the 671-room Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Massachusetts. It is expected to open next month.

The possibility of a deal though is uncertain because MGM already owns a casino elsewhere in the state and Massachusetts law does not allow for one company to own more than one casino licence in the state.

The companies have been talking for several weeks and the discussions are at an early state, Reuters reported, citing an emailed statement from both groups.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission had in April fined Wynn Resorts $US35 million for not revealing sexual misconduct allegations against founder and former chief executive officer Steve Wynn but allowed the company to keep its license.

Wynn has to pay the fine by May 31 and some media in the Boston area speculate the talks could be a way of delaying that payment.

Wynn pulled a preliminary offer for Crown Resorts in April blaming the early leaking of the possible offer to the media.

Wynn had proposed a $14.75 offer for Crown – the $10 billion value would be half in cash, half in Wynn shares.

Billionaire James Packer’s Consolidated Press owns 46.8% of Crown and he would have emerged with a bit stake in Wynn.

Crown shares fell 2.2% last week to end at $12.93 on Friday on the ASX.

A successful sale of the Boston casino would raise a lot of cash for Wynn and give it the firepower to really go after Crown.

Wynn shares fell more than 4.6% on Friday to $US121.20.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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