John Messara Speaks Out in Favour of Tabcorp Tatts Merger
Former Racing NSW chairman and current Arrowfield stud owner, John Messara, has voiced his support of the proposed $11 billion merger between Australian wagering giants, Tabcorp and Tatts, saying it could be positive for the local thoroughbred industry.
His comments have come the day before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is expected to announce its preliminary ruling on the merger. The ruling, which has been delayed from the February 23 deadline, is expected to focus primarily on the impact of wagering pools, but the merger is widely believed to eventually be approved after a few minor changes are made.
“There will be savings out of the merger and some will be passed on to the industry, which will be of benefit, and they’re also talking about a national TAB pool,” Mr Messara explained to The Australian.
“That would be a real positive. Some people say that having separate pools enables arbitrating and increases wagering, but I am of the view that if you have a nice deep pool, then punters around the world can bet without really affecting the odds.”
“A merger is going to have savings and synergies from the two companies. Some of those will pass on to the industry through the current wagering and profit-share agreements that are in place. That means higher prize money and that’s the driver of the industry – it’s the only lever we have, essentially.”
He went on to stress that a strong local company would be more beneficial to the industry than offshore operators having a stake in the industry. According to Mr Messara, a merger between Tabcorp and Tatts would also be preferable to the acquisition of Tatts by Pacific Consortium, led by Macquarie, who have remained interested in the company despite their offer having been rejected by the board.
March 23, 2017