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Entain Ups Tabcorp takeover bid to USD 2.7 billion, Eyes Dominant Australia Perch

Date posted: April 27, 2021, 09:11 noon

Last updated: April 27, 2021, 12:05 pm.

Todd Shriber

Entain Plc (OTC: GMVHY) takes the next step in Tabcorp's bookmaking and media business, raising its takeover bid to $ 2.7 billion from $ 2. 28 billion.

Entain Tabcorp
Ladbrokes betting shop in Great Britain. The owner of Entain increased its acquisition bid for Tabcorp. (Picture: The Guardian )

Both companies confirm the amended proposal. British company Entain's new offer comes about a month after the Australian target rejected its initial $ 2. 28 billion overture, calling it insufficient. Tabcorp says little about the new offering other than that it is being evaluated.

"The revised proposal is still subject to a number of conditions, including due diligence, arranging financing, obtaining all relevant regulatory approvals, and obtaining various approvals and approvals from third parties," said the Australian gambling operator.

Tabcorp's management has not yet formulated a view on the merits of the amended proposal and will assess it in the context of a previously announced strategic review. "

In line with Entain's original acquisition proposal, Tabcorp has promised a strategic overhaul of its media and unit plants, stating that the process could result in selling to a third party, spinning off or divesting its keno units and lotteries.

Aussie Allure makes Tabcorp an attractive target

In the investor community nowadays, the thesis about sports betting mainly revolves around the United States - it is developing rapidly in a market that is not yet as mature as Australia or the United Kingdom.

This doesn't diminish the appeal of Tabcorp for Entain, or any competitor when it comes to that. However, the Australian firm is a particularly interesting target for Ladbrokes owner. The British company has a four percent stake in the Australian horse racing and sports betting segment. But Tabcorp has almost 11 times the 43.7 percent, meaning the combined entity would control almost half the market.

"The proposed transaction would be in line with Entain's current M&A strategy and provide an opportunity to acquire an attractive company that, when combined with Entain's existing Australian operations, would create a leading integrated multi-channel multi-brand betting company." according to the British operator.

Australia is also home to dedicated gamers. Australians aged 18 to 49 spend nearly $ 775 a month on sports betting - good for one of the highest clips in developed economies - according to the Australian Gambling Research Center. In 2018, almost 24 billion $ was spent there on horse racing and sports betting.

Entain Could Have Company

Entain is not the only Tabcorp competitor. Target previously disclosed to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) that it has received multiple offers.

While only the Coral owner openly confirms the offer, Fox Corp. Rupert Murdoch (NASDAQ: FOXA) is also considering running in Tabcorp. The media giant is actively looking for ways to increase exposure to sports betting in the US and elsewhere. There is also speculation that Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) may join the Tabcorp bidding process.

Some analysts see Entain as a possible takeover target, noting that MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) - its partner in the BetMGM unit - may have revisited the takeover bid that was rejected earlier this year.

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