Star Entertainment Group: A potential takeover on the horizon?

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Star Entertainment Group: A potential takeover on the horizon?

The Star Entertainment Group, Australia’s second-largest casino operator, has been the subject of recent takeover speculation. Despite rumours of a bid from US-based Hard Rock, The Star has clarified that no direct proposal has been received from them. However, the company has acknowledged interest from several other parties, including a consortium of investors that counts Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts (Pacific) among its members.

In a statement released on Monday, The Star confirmed that while there has been inbound interest regarding potential transactions, none of these approaches have led to any substantial discussions. The company described the interest as confidential, unsolicited, preliminary, and non-binding.

Currently, The Star is navigating through remediation activities in both New South Wales and Queensland. This includes its involvement in the Bell Two Inquiry, which is assessing its suitability to retain a Sydney casino license. Amidst this, the company announced on 17 May that its gaming licenses for The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane casinos have been extended from 31 May 31st to December 20th. This extension allows the Queensland Government to evaluate the outcomes of the Second Bell Inquiry into The Star in New South Wales and assess The Star’s remediation progress before making further decisions.

No concrete proposals yet

This extension surpasses the term of the Special Manager, appointed to supervise the Queensland properties, which concludes on 8 December. The final report for the Bell Two Inquiry is anticipated on 31 July.

There has been widespread speculation about The Star’s ability to retain its licences in both states, particularly in New South Wales due to the Second Bell Inquiry. This has led to questions about whether rival Crown Resorts would be interested in a possible takeover of the group’s gaming license, if permitted by authorities.

In a previous conversation with AGB, Crown Resorts CEO Ciarán Carruthers did not confirm whether Crown now holds a competitive edge over The Star in New South Wales, as suggested by some analysts. Carruthers highlighted that the group’s successful remediation efforts, demonstrated by its suitability to maintain its casino license in both Melbourne and Sydney, have helped rebuild trust within the local community and have strengthened its authority in community engagement.

The possibility of a takeover of The Star has caused the company’s shares to surge by approximately 20 percent in today’s trading.

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