Hard Rock denies reports of acquisition interest in Star Entertainment

May 20, 2024 8:45 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • David McKee, CDC Gaming Reports
May 20, 2024 8:45 PM

An “urgent” statement by Hard Rock International pushed back Monday afternoon against media reports of an attempted buyout of Australia’s Star Entertainment. Claims of Hard Rock’s interest in the casino giant Down Under broke Monday morning on Reuters and several other news services.

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The Hard Rock statement responded, “We want to make it clear that Hard Rock International is not involved in, nor has it authorized, any discussions, activities, or negotiations on its behalf in connection with a proposed bid for Star. Hard Rock International has similarly not authorized the use of the Hard Rock brand in connection with any proposed bid for Star by any third party.”

An apparent allusion to Star’s well-publicized regulatory troubles followed. “Our brand is built on a legacy of integrity, excellence, and a commitment to our guests, partners, and team members worldwide,” wrote Golin PR Vice President Jonathan Goldman. “Any misuse of the Hard Rock name in unauthorized business dealings is taken very seriously. We are currently investigating this matter and will pursue all necessary legal actions to protect our brand and reputation.”

Star shares had leapt 20 percent on that company’s assertion that “a consortium that hosts a local partner of Florida-based Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos is considering a bid” for Star, according to Reuters.

Star had been battling to keep its casino license in New South Wales, a fight marked by the departures of Chairman David Foster and CEO Robbie Cooke. Among the disclosures of the regulatory inquiry involved the casino’s cashing of welfare checks, which led defense attorney Bret Walker to concede, “There’s no varnishing of the most undesirable state of affairs” at Star, according to the Financial Review.