Blackstone is offering to buy the remaining stake in listed Australian resort group Crown Resorts, which it currently does not own, for A$8bn (€5.2bn).

Blackstone acquired a 9.9% stake in Crown almost a year ago from Macau casino operator Melco for a A$551m.

Crown owns and operates the Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth resorts in Australia, and is developing new resorts in Sydney and Melbourne.

Crown said Blackstone submitted an unsolicited, non-binding and indicative proposal from a company. Blackstone is proposing to pay A$11.85 per share in cash by way of a scheme of arrangement.

The offer price represents a premium of 19% to the volume-weighted average price of Crown shares since the release of its first-half financial results in February.

Crown said the indicative price would be reduced by the value of any dividends or distributions declared or paid by Crown.

The Crown board is expected to commence a process to assess the proposal.

When approached for comment, a Blackstone spokesperson confirmed the approach and said the proposal was subject to the conditions set out in its offer letter to the Crown board. Conditions include completion of due diligence, securing debt finance and unanimous Crown board recommendation to vote in favour of the proposal.

Crown is facing a series of regulatory challenges, with various state government agencies initiating their own inquiries into Crown operations over allegations that include money laundering.

The first such inquiry into the suitability of the company to hold a licence was held in New South Wales last year and in February came down with scathing criticism of the management and its board. Crown has since undergone board and management renewal in the wake of the findings.

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