Entain “disappointed” with Tabcorp demerger

| By Conor Mulheir
Gaming giant Entain has released a statement expressing disappointment at Australian operator Tabcorp’s announcement that it plans to spin off its Lotteries and Keno and Wagering and Media divisions.
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Tabcorp’s announcement that it would demerge the divisions to create two standalone ASX-listed businesses was the result of a strategic business review started in March, which saw the operator consider a sale of its wagering and media division.

In February, Tabcorp said it had received several “unsolicited approaches and proposals”, with Entain among those to have put forward an offer.

In April, Entain confirmed it had made a revised AU$3.5bn (£1.96bn/€2.25bn/$2.72bn) offer to acquire the wagering and media division.

Following Tabcorp’s announcement today (5 July) that it would demerge the two divisions of its business and list them separately, Entain said it was “disappointed” by the decision of the operator’s board.

It said it believed its all-cash offer would have delivered superior outcomes for shareholders, customers, employees and the wider industry.

Price discipline is essential in building on the shareholder value it expects its global growth strategy to deliver, it said, and pointed out that its Australia-facing brands Ladbrokes, Neds, Betstar and Bookmaker, were continuing to build on a record year in 2020.

Entain expressed confidence that its Australian business would go from strength to strength, on the back of the quality of its products and support of the wider Australian racing industry.

Results published from the first quarter of 2021 showed that Entain’s net revenue was down 13% year-on-year for the period, mainly due to the continued closure of a large part of its retail estate.

Its online business, however, saw revenue rise 33% year-on-year, marking the business area’s 21st consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

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