Crown Melbourne will fund 1,000 places in a hospitality training course to help boost the state's skilled workforce.

ASX-listed hotel and gaming company Crown Resorts is set to accept an $8.9 billion takeover bid from US private equity firm Blackstone, after the company board recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the $13.10 per share offer.

On Monday, Crown Resorts Chairman, Ziggy Switkowski, said the board was unanimous in its decision, in the absence of a superior offer, but said it is subject to an independent expert finding that the transaction is in the best interests of Crown shareholders.

“When considering any proposal, the Crown Board has consistently stated it is committed to maximising value for Crown shareholders,” Switkowski said.

“The Crown Board and management have made good progress in addressing a number of significant challenges and issues emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and various regulatory processes. Nevertheless, uncertainty remains and having regard to those circumstances and the underlying value of Crown we believe the Blackstone Transaction represents an attractive outcome for shareholders. The all-cash offer provides shareholders with certainty of value.”

The deal values Crown’s equity at approximately $8.9 billion, 11 per cent higher than Blackstone’s  initial proposal almost a year ago.

Crown’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Steve McCann, said it’s a “compelling offer” for shareholders.

“The price appropriately reflects the value of Crown’s world-class assets and global reputation for premium service and experiences,” he said.

“The agreement with Blackstone also highlights the strength of the Crown brand and confidence in our future as we emerge from some challenging times, which is welcome news for our people, customers and stakeholders.”

Previous offers rebuffed

Blackstone initially made an unsolicited proposal to acquire all Crown shares at $11.85 per share on March 22, 2021, which was later followed by a $12.35 per share offer on May 10, both of which were rejected by Crown.

Another proposal from Blackstone of $12.50 was put forward on November 19, 2021. While the Board believed this proposal did not represent compelling value for shareholders, it allowed Blackstone access to non-public information to undertake due diligence to inform a revised proposal.

The $13.10 offer was proposed on January 13, 2022 under the same terms and conditions announced in November.

The deal is subject to conditions and regulatory approvals.