(Bloomberg) -- Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd. is seeking to raise as much as A$1.2 billion ($771 million) through a combination of equity and debt after a crackdown on criminal associations and money laundering across the nation’s gambling industry eroded its financial position.
The company launched a A$750 million equity raising priced at 60 Australian cents per share through investment bank Barrenjoey Markets Pty, it said in a statement on Monday. The offer consists of a 1 for 1.65 entitlement offer for existing retail shareholders to raise about A$589 million, and a placement of about A$161 million worth of shares for institutional investors. The price represents a 20% discount to its last closing price on Friday.
At the same time, the company announced a four-year A$450 million debt package backed by Barclays Plc and Westpac Banking Corp., comprised of a A$150 million revolving credit facility and a A$300 million underwritten term loan.
Its shares have declined more than 50% this year, hitting an all-time low this month, as regulators’ focus on Star’s community impact means its casinos have locked out more customers — and spent more on compliance — while discretionary spending has dropped. The company cut more than 500 jobs and recorded a net loss of A$2.44 billion in the last financial year.
The equity deal alone would make Star the largest tapper of Australia’s share market this year with the second- and third-largest raisings. In February, Star raised A$800 million via a similarly structured equity fundraising, with a A$685 million rights offer and a A$115 million institutional placement.
(Updates to add details throughout.)
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