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Packer Bids for Remainder of Burswood Casino

27 April 2004

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by the Australian: "Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd last night moved to strengthen its grip on Australia's high-roller gambling market by launching a $580.6 million (US$425.94 million) bid for the remainder of Western Australia's Burswood Casino.

"PBL, which already owns 15.6 per cent of Burswood, also said it would raise its dividend payout ratio to 65 per cent of net profit from the current level of 50 per cent.

"PBL's Crown Casino in Melbourne is already the largest high-roller gambling site in Australia with $17 billion in turnover, and PBL is expected to expand Burswood's smaller high-roller business which turns over $4 billion.

"Burswood has reduced its high-roller bet limits to stem its losses in that market, giving PBL the option of reinstating the former limit to attract more big-spending punters.

"…PBL is now offering to pay $1.40 a share for the remaining equity in the entertainment complex, which represents an 11 per cent premium to yesterday's closing price of $1.26…"

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