* Oaktree, Crown no longer in talks for stake-purchase
* Co says COVID-19 curbs likely to continue to hit
* Reports $191 million annual loss
Aug 30 (Reuters) - Australian casino operator Crown Resorts
reported an annual loss on Monday and said it was no
longer in discussions with Oaktree Capital over the
private equity firm's proposal to buy out founder James Packer's
$2.3 billion stake.
The loss, which Crown had already flagged, and the failure
of the Oaktree deal show the extent to which its future is being
shaped by regulatory scrutiny as it struggles to rebuild its
image amid multiple Royal Commission enquiries.
While Crown already lost the licence for its Sydney casino
after an inquiry in February found it allowed money laundering
on its premises for years, its properties in Perth and Melbourne
are also under a regulatory cloud, compounding challenges for
the company already hit by the coronavirus.
Oaktree declined to comment on the failed deal with Crown,
while the casino operator did not offer a reason in its
statement for the agreement to fall through.
Its net loss for the year to June was A$261.6 million
($191.3 million), compared with a A$79.5 million profit a year
earlier, while its revenue slid by nearly a third.
Crown, however, said its Perth casino rebounded quickly
after the latest round of COVID-19 curbs in Australia were
relaxed, although the operating environment remained uncertain.
Macquarie analysts said they expect the recent performance
at Perth "to act as a precedent for when Crown Melbourne and
Crown Sydney re-open."
Crown, whose shares ended 0.1% lower, had in May rejected an
all-cash $6.5 billion bid from investment giant Blackstone Inc
, and subsequently lost out on a A$9 billion offer from
smaller rival Star Entertainment Group.
Separately, the casino giant also said some of its lenders
had agreed to extend maturity of few credit facilities, while
one of its lenders also agreed to a new A$250 million debt
Maadhavi Barber, an analyst at Moody's Investors Service,
called the results "credit negative", but said Crown's credit
profile was supported by sufficient liquidity and the extension
of near-term maturities.
($1 = 1.3717 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Sameer Manekar, Harish Sridharan, Nikhil Kurian
Nainan, aditional reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru and
Paulina Duran in Sydney; editing by Uttaresh.V)