Tuesday 17. November, 2015

Tabcorp and Tatts Merger Talks End

Australian gambling giants, Tabcorp and Tatts Group, have confirmed that discussions over a potential merger agreement have failed. The two companies have been in confidential talks for the past few months, but were unable to reach an agreement that satisfied both companies. The merger, which was estimated would be worth AU$9.4 billion, will not go forward.

The Tatts Group is worth $5.7 billion, running the tote in the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia. Tabcorp is worth $3.7 billion running the TAB in Victoria and New South Wales. The companies originally discussed a merger of equals; however, it was more recently reported that the merger agreement would see Tabcorp acquiring the Tatts Group with Tatts shareholders being issued with Tabcorp shares.

The companies both confirmed in statements that the talks have ended, with Tabcorp announcing, “Tabcorp confirms that while confidential discussions have taken place regarding a potential merger, the companies were unable to agree mutually acceptable terms and those discussions have ended. There are no further discussions taking place between the parties relating to a merger or any other form of corporate transaction.”

Gambling experts had been expecting these talks as both Tabcorp and Tatts continued to experience drops in revenue since their gambling licenses were deregulated in 2012. It is believed that a more than 10 percent drop in Tabcorp shares since October 29 may be the major reason for the failure of the negotiations.

In 2006, similar negotiations took place between the gambling giants; however, in that case, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ended the talks. The companies were not expected to face regulatory hurdles this time due to the different level of competition in the Australian market today with major gambling operators including William Hill and Ladbrokes offering services as well.

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