Tabcorp shareholders approve lottery demerger

| By Robert Fletcher
Shareholders in Tabcorp have overwhelmingly voted to approve plans for the Australian lottery and totalizator operator to demerge its lottery operations from wagering, media and gaming services.

Some 98.78% of the total votes cast during Tabcorp’s General Meeting and Scheme Meeting were in favour of the demerger, with just 0.17% voting against the proposal and 0.89% votes classed as open votes.

Tabcorp will now seek orders from the Supreme Court of New South Wales for approval of the demerger, with a hearing scheduled for 20 May.

Should Tabcorp secure this approval, it has proposed lodging a copy of Court orders with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on 23 May, with a view for the scheme to become effective from that date.

Subject to approval of the scheme by the court, shares in demerged business, which would be named The Lottery Corporation, are expected to begin trading on the ASX on 24 May.

“We are pleased to have received shareholder approval for the demerger of The Lottery Corporation from Tabcorp,” Tabcorp chairman Steven Greggs said. “This is an important milestone in repositioning the group’s portfolio and setting up Tabcorp and The Lottery Corporation for future success.”

In July 2021, Tabcorp first announced plans to spin off its Lotteries and Keno arm following a strategic review of its operations.

The review begun four months earlier and looked at structural and ownership options for Tabcorp to create more value for shareholders, including potentially selling off its Wagering and Media business. 

At the time it said that a number of unsolicited proposals had been made for the division, including a AU$3.5bn bid from Entain and $4bn bids from Betmakers and Apollo Global, but the business argued none of these represented the true value of the division. 

While the review led to Tabcorp keeping the wagering arm, it instead decided to spin off the lotteries business, which would result in two separate companies.

Tabcorp said the first of these businesses would be renamed The Lottery Corporation and would comprise most of the former Tatts business, but without gaming services. The second business was named New Tabcorp and would include the wagering and media arm alongside gaming services.

In March, New South Wales court approved this week’s meeting that allowed shareholders to vote on the demerger, shortly after which Tabcorp outlined the strategies for each segment of its business following the demerger.

The Lottery Corporation would pursue growth through five main strategies. These are to innovate its game portfolio, enhance its customer experience, increase digital penetration, evolve its retail footprint and pursue new licence and acquisition opportunities.

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