Tabcorp and Tatts integration "expected to take approximately two years"

Tabcorp and Tatts integration "expected to take approximately two years"

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Posted by Craig Davies
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Two companies to unite under Tabcorp banner on December 22

The proposed merger between Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group has taken a huge stride forward, after two major announcements emanated from ‘down under'.

Following the divestment of Odyssey Gaming to Australian National Hotels (ANH), the scheme has now received approval from the Supreme Court of Victoria, with an implementation date of 22 December set.

The merger agreement, which would create the second largest gambling organisation in Australia, is due for expiry on 31 December.

Court orders have now been lodged with The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), with integration set to take two years subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

In a letter to shareholders, Tabcorp chairman Paula Dwyer hailed the “world class” organisation the combination will create, and the strong pool of talent coming together, adding: “The combination is expected to create significant value for Tabcorp shareholders, and benefits for our customers, racing industry, agencies, licenced venues, newsagents, and Federal, State and Territory Governments.”

The sale of Odyssey to ANH, a subsidiary of Federal Group, who have interests in retail, hospitality, casino and gaming, was imposed by the Australian Competitions Tribunal (ACT) as a necessary step for a merger to occur.

A statement from Tabcorp said: “Tabcorp agreed to divest Odyssey as part of the process for securing authorisation for the proposed combination of Tabcorp and Tatts Group Limited from the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT).

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) accepted an undertaking to divest Odyssey on 5 July 2017. A variation to the undertaking was accepted by the ACCC on 11 December 2017.

“The variation related to minor amendments to the Approved Sale and Purchase Agreements included with the undertaking.”

These latest developments follow a “significant step” being taken in November, after the ACT gave the merger the go ahead for the second time.

This second review came about after objections were raised by the ACCC and rival betting operator CrownBet to the full Federal Court, who in turn ordered a federal review.

Following the ACT showing the green light for the second time, Tabcorp cleared two major hurdles as its main objectors dropped all opposition.

First CrownBet stated it had settled its merger dispute, before the ACCC, who previously acted as supervising body for the merger before being dropped for the ACT, quickly detailed that it too would not challenge the decision to issue approval.

Totally Gaming says: These announcements must be a huge relief for all parties involved, with the combination of Tabcorp and Tatts first announced in October of last year. With the ACCC and CrownBet dropping their interest, quickly followed by the Odyssey sale and Supreme Court of Victoria approval, all eyes now shift towards the December 22 implementation date. Set just 9 days before the merger agreement expires.

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