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Analysts: Burswood Bidding War Unlikely

29 April 2004

AUSTRALIA –As reported by the Australia Age: "Shares in Perth casino operator Burswood soared more than 12 per cent yesterday on its first day of trading after Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd announced a $686 million cash bid for the company.

"Analysts said there was little prospect of a bidding war, given PBL already had a 15.7 per cent stake and a strong strategic interest in Burswood's high-roller business, which matches nicely with PBL's Crown Casino.

"…But Burswood's directors, who will meet today to discuss the offer, have yet to endorse the unsolicited bid.

"…PBL chief executive Peter Yates confirmed yesterday that synergies from the high-roller business at the two casinos, which contributes 20 per cent of revenues at Crown and Burswood, was the main attraction.

"PBL said it would also use its expertise gained from running Crown to introduce business improvements at the Perth Casino, which is also literally better placed to attract Asian high rollers than Crown, according to PBL.

"Analysts agreed with that view…"

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