Hard Rock Hotels and Casino's looking to acquire Star Entertainment

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

Shares in the embattled Star Entertainment (ASX:SGR) are likely to surge today with the news that the US casino group Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos is considering a bid.

The Financial Review suggests that Hard Rock, based in Florida, is eyeing control of Star, offering significant capital investment to bolster the struggling gaming group.

The Star brand would be discarded due to extensive damage caused by persistent mismanagement and scandals.

According to the AFR, Hard Rock is spearheading a consortium of investors.

Star shares closed at 45 cents on Friday, marking a 2.1% decline, and have decreased by 15% year-to-date. At Friday’s close, the company was valued at nearly $1.3 billion.

Hard Rock operates the Mirage casino in Las Vegas and approximately a dozen others.

Although not publicly listed, Hard Rock is part of the AIC Hotels group (formerly known as All Inclusive Collection), which, according to its website, boasts luxury resorts such as the Eden Roc Miami Beach, Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, Nobu Hotel Chicago, as well as properties throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, the world's first all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel.

AIC, Hard Rock, and other members of the bidding group would all need to undergo rigorous probity checks by NSW (and Queensland) gaming regulators, a process that could span up to a year.

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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