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  • Tabcorp (TAH) has received a revised proposal from Entain, under which the London-listed betting company offered to buy its wagering and media business for $3.5 billion
  • It follows an initial bid valued at $3 billion, which Tabcorp Chairman Steven Gregg dismissed as too low while announcing a strategic review of the company
  • He said the options could extend to a demerger of either its wagering and media business or its lotteries and Keno business
  • Tabcorp said it will review Entain’s offer, which remains subject to a number of conditions, including regulatory approval
  • Tabcorp is up 3.33 per cent to $4.96 per share

Tabcorp (TAH) has received a revised proposal from Entain, under which the London-listed betting company offered to buy its wagering and media business for $3.5 billion.

Australia’s largest betting company said this morning that it was reviewing the proposal, which remains subject to a number of conditions, including regulatory approval, the completion of due diligence and securing financing.

It follows an initial bid valued at $3 billion, which Tabcorp Chairman Steven Gregg dismissed as too low in late March while he also unveiled a strategic review of the company’s structural and ownership options.

“The assessment of Tabcorp’s strategic and ownership options includes, but is not limited to, a demerger or sale of one or more of our businesses,” Gregg said.

“Our clear objective is to ensure that we fully maximise the value of Tabcorp’s gambling entertainment businesses for our shareholders.”

He added that these options could extend to a demerger of either its wagering and media business or its lotteries and Keno business.

The cancellation or delay of many sporting events and pandemic-related restrictions on betting shops has hurt Tabcorp’s betting business, forcing the unit to accelerate a shift to online betting from traditional retail betting.

Still, the company said it “has not yet formed a view on the merits of the revised proposal and will assess it in the context of the previously announced strategic review.”

Racing Victoria boss Giles Thompson also weighed in last week, saying the sale of Tabcorp’s wagering and media arm to Entain would be messy, given the regulatory complexity, but not impossible.

“All the states and territories that Tabcorp deal with, all the different racing bodies […] there is great complexity to that. [But] its’s not insurmountable,” he said in an interview.

“Wagering operators by definition are regulatory specialists, so I have no doubt there are some potential acquirers out there who think that is within their skill set to navigate it.”

But Entain, which owns the popular bookmaker Ladbrokes, isn’t the only one vying for a piece of Australia’s $4.7-billion-a-year betting market. Private equity group Apollo Global Management and media titan Lachlan Murdoch have also expressed interest.

Tabcorp is up 3.33 per cent to $4.96 per share at 1:06 pm AEST.

TAH by the numbers
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