(Bloomberg) -- Star Entertainment Group Ltd. shares fell amid confusion over the validity of a takeover proposal that it said came from a group backed by Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts (Pacific).

The stock dropped as much as 10% in early trading Tuesday, before trading down 2.8% at 10:53 a.m. local time. The retreat leaves Star with a market value of A$1.5 billion ($1 billion).

The shares had surged 20% on Monday amid expectations of a bidding war for the troubled Australian casino operator. Star had disclosed that it had received approaches from several suitors, and said one of the possible buyers was a consortium that included Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts (Pacific). Star described the entity as a local partner of Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos.

Hours later, Florida-based Hard Rock International said it’s not involved in any discussions or negotiations in connection with a proposed bid, and hasn’t authorized the use of the Hard Rock brand in connection with any potential offer for Star by any third party.

The conflicting statements leave a confused picture for investors trying to bet on Star’s future. The company’s fate already hangs in the balance, as a regulatory inquiry assesses whether Star has sufficiently addressed corporate wrongdoing to keep its gaming license at its flagship Sydney casino. The complex has been run by a government-appointed manager since a damning report in 2022 found it had lax anti-money laundering controls, allowed patrons to flout China’s capital controls and encouraged problem gamblers.

Hard Rock International is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and owns casinos including The Mirage in Las Vegas. In its statement it said it will pursue all necessary legal actions to protect its brand and reputation. 

Responding on Tuesday, Star said it hasn’t received any proposal directly from Hard Rock International. The Sydney-based company said approaches included an “incomplete and indicative proposal from a consortium of investors which included the entity Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts (Pacific).”

The exact identity of Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts (Pacific) isn’t clear. A company named HPL Hotels & Resorts Pte Ltd. runs at least three Hard Rock-branded hotels in Southeast Asia — in Bali, Pattaya and Penang, according to its website. The site says HPL Hotels & Resorts is wholly owned by Singapore-listed Hotel Properties Ltd.

The flurry of statements was initially triggered by a report in the Australian Financial Review on Monday that said a group led by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino had recently submitted an offer to Star. 

According to the newspaper, the proposal included injecting fresh capital into Star, re-branding the company and separating its properties from the casinos. Hard Rock is working with Australian and US investors on its Star proposal and is being advised by KPMG, according to the AFR report.

A spokesman for KPMG declined to comment on Tuesday.

Star is largely leaderless as it becomes the focus of a bidding tussle. It is currently without a permanent chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or chief legal officer. David Foster stepped down as chairman late last month after an inquiry into the company’s suitability to hold its gambling license heard he and former CEO Robbie Cooke plotted to oust the government-appointed manager.  

The latest regulatory probe has heard Star isn’t suitable to regain independent control of its Sydney casino and has made little progress in rectifying its shortcomings since the 2022 probe. Star’s two other casinos  — in the Gold Coast and Brisbane in the state of Queensland  —- are also operating under government caretakers. 

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