December 29, 2017 / 4:42 AM / a year ago

Australia's Crown Resorts to sell CrownBet stake for $117 million

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd adorns the hotel and casino complex in Melbourne, Australia, June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

(Reuters) - Australian casino operator Crown Resorts said on Friday it has agreed to sell its 62 percent stake in online betting firm CrownBet to a consortium including the unit’s chief executive for A$150 million ($117 million).

The deal, part of a series of divestments planned by Australia’s biggest casino company to cut debt, also includes loans extended by Crown to CrownBet.

Both Dublin-based Paddy Power Betfair and British bookmaker William Hill had previously expressed an interest in the stake.

The buyer of the stake is an entity associated with other shareholders in CrownBet, including the CrownBet management team led by CEO Matthew Tripp, Crown said in a statement.

Australia’s gambling industry has seen much change this year with the country’s biggest bookmaker Tabcorp Holding buying lottery owner Tatts Group for $4.7 billion this month to create a gambling powerhouse.

Shares of Crown Resorts were down 0.3 percent.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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