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ABL acts for CrownBet founders in transformative transactions with Crown, Stars Group and William Hill

Banking & Finance, Corporate and M&A, Taxation
Arnold Bloch Leibler has acted for CrownBet’s founders, including Matt Tripp, Grant Griffiths and Nick Tyshing, on a series of milestone transactions, including the sale of an 18 per cent stake of CrownBet to Canadian listed company The Stars Group, Inc, executed Tuesday night.

The ABL team, led by Corporate & Commercial Partner Christine Fleer and including Senior Associates Jason Van Grieken and Gavin Hammerschlag, Lawyer James Hamilton and Law Graduate Miguel Ferreira, advised the founders on all aspects of:

  • the $150m exit of Crown Resorts from the CrownBet joint venture (completed on 27 February 2018);
  • the entry of new partner, The Stars Group, a $5.5bn Canadian listed global wagering company identified as an ideal new partner for CrownBet after a global search; 
  • the sale of a further 18% interest in CrownBet by the CrownBet founders to The Stars Group; and
  • the circa $300m acquisition of William Hill Australia by CrownBet, after CrownBet was the successful bidder in a competitive sale process concluded on Tuesday.

Partner Paul Sokolowski and Senior Associate Greg Judd assisted with tax issues, while Special Counsel Damien Cuddihy provided financing advice and Lawyer Luke Jedynak provided advice in relation to FIRB.

Christine Fleer said the four stage process was a unique opportunity to assist on transformative change for CrownBet and a fantastic result for its founders.  “We are very proud to have helped Matt Tripp and his team solidify CrownBet’s status as a leader in the Australian online wagering market. Matt and his team are smart and nimble operators and are now, together with The Stars Group, very well placed for expansion as regulations change in Australia and world-wide. These deals rapidly evolved and ran in parallel – the successful conclusion of all of them within the same seven day period represents a brilliant outcome for our clients. ” 

"These deals rapidly evolved and ran in parallel – the successful conclusion of all of them within the same seven day period represents a brilliant outcome for our clients."

Christine Fleer, ABL Partner

As reported in the Australian Financial Review, based on 2017 figures, a combined CrownBet and William Hill business in Australia will have annual revenue of about $395m.
Completion of the acquisition of William Hill is expected in early April 2018.
CrownBet chief executive Matt Tripp told the AFR: "We believe the acquisition of the William Hill Australia business gives us the scale and customers to become a leading force in the market and the tools we will need to prepare for potential positive regulatory movement in other jurisdictions."

About Arnold Bloch Leibler 

Arnold Bloch Leibler is a premium Australian commercial law firm renowned for advising clients on their most important transactions, commercial issues and disputes. From offices in Melbourne and Sydney, the firm provides advice to a diverse range of entrepreneurial Australian listed companies, family businesses, high-net-worth individuals and international corporations. The firm also has a dedicated pro bono practice providing advice on social, environmental and cultural issues to more than 150 charitable and not-for-profit organisations.

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