M&A

Tabcorp confirms multiple offers for wagering arm, with Entain among bidders

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Australia’s largest gambling business Tabcorp has received “a number of unsolicited approaches and proposals” to acquire its Wagering and Media division, with Entain among those to have put forward an offer.

Following media reports in Australia, Tabcorp said it received multiple approaches about a potential acquisition.

This would see the operator left to focus on its lotteries and gaming services divisions. No firm bids have been made so far, it added.

“The proposals were expressed to be confidential, non-binding and subject to numerous conditions including due diligence, financing and various regulatory approvals,” Tabcorp said.

“There is no certainty that any transaction will occur.”

In its 2019-20 financial year, Tabcorp’s wagering and media business brought in AUD$2.08bn and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $371m.

This compared to revenue of $2.92bn and EBITDA of $542m for the lotteries and keno arm and revenue of $221m, and EBITDA of $84m from gaming services.

Entain, meanwhile, confirmed that it is among the businesses seeking to acquire the wagering and media arm.

It said the deal would align with its goal of expanding into further regulated markets, which it outlined last year when it rebranded from GVC.

“Whilst discussions are at an early stage, any transaction would be in-line with Entain’s current M&A strategy of expanding across regulated international markets,” the operator explained.

“As such, this would present an opportunity to acquire an attractive business which, if combined with Entain’s existing Australian business, would create a leading, integrated multi-channel and multi-brand wagering company.”

The operator has been active in Australia since acquiring Bookmaker.com.au for AU$22.5m in 2013.

It bolstered its offering in 2018, through a $95m deal for Neds, another brand founded by Boomaker.com.au founder Dean Shannon.

This strategy is also behind Entain’s plans to acquire Baltic-facing Optibet operator Enlabs, having submitted an offer worth £250m (€276.4m/$340.1m).

While the Elabs board and shareholders representing more than 40% of the business have supported the deal, more than 10% have come out against the takeover bid, arguing it “significantly undervalues” Enlabs.

Last month, Entain also fended off a takeover bid from MGM Resorts. Its BetMGM joint venture partner sought to acquire the business. However after Entain said an initial USD$11.00bn (£8.11bn/€8.97bn) offer was too low, MGM withdrew.

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