Tabcorp has declined offers from multiple companies for its wagering division but has also indicated that higher takeover bids from other business entities will remain welcome.
Australia’s largest gambling company declined on 05 July a $3.5 billion offer for its TAB wagering arm by international betting company Entain, wagering technology group BetMakers, and private equity giant Apollo.
Tabcorp has instead opted to split out its Keno and Lotteries business and has announced it as a new company.
Tabcorp chairman Steven Gregg said they found the bids not very compelling after carrying out a strategic review of the business.
He also said a potential sale of Tabcorp’s wagering arm would involve a lengthy, complex approval process, which would only result in uncertainty for the company.
Tabcorp said demerging its lotteries and Keno business is the optimal decision they could make to provide the best value to its shareholders, adding that creating two ASX-listed companies will only take around 10 months.
Entain Disappointed By Latest Rejection
Entain was left disappointed by Tabcorp’s decision to turn down their all-cash offer, saying it would have delivered superior outcomes for the company and the industry in general. Entain initially offered to buy Tabcorp’s wagering business for $3 billion; it was rejected by the company for being too low.
Entain then launched a revised proposal, increasing its bid to $3.5 billion, but has again been turned down. In response to Tabcorp’s refusal, the UK betting giant said they’re currently not planning to launch a higher proposal.
Entain could now shift their focus on exploring other potential transactions, including the sale of William Hill‘s non-US assets.
Meanwhile, Tabcorp’s engagement with BetMakers is set to continue, with the company also announcing that it will resume discussions with the software development firm regarding joint-venture commercial partnerships in international markets.
Investors Welcome Demerging of Tabcorp’s Lottery Business
The demerging of Tabcorp’s lotteries and Keno business has been welcomed by the company’s investors, who have long been convincing Tabcorp to separate its lotteries business from its bookmaking arm. The company’s lottery business is considered more stable and reliable than its wagering arm which has struggled to deal with competition from online rivals.
Gabriel Radzyminski, managing director of Sandon Capital, said the recent demerging provides more clarity and visibility to shareholders.
The demerger is expected to achieve completion by the end of June 2022. The costs could go as high as $275 million.