Ladbrokes Coral & William Hill eyeing Tatts wagering assets

‘The Australian’ newspaper has this weekend reported that FTSE-listed betting operators’ Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill are eyeing the potential takeover of ASX-listed Tatts Group’s sports betting assets, should the company be acquired by the Pacific Consortium.

Last week, Pacific Consortium a group of investors led by London private equity firm Macquarie and New York fund KKR made a formal AUS $7.3 billion (£4.4 billion) approach for Tatts.

The approach sees Pacific place the proposed merger of Tabcorp-Tatts (first announced October 2016) under further examination, with Australian analysts pointing that the strong bid for Tatts will likely split corporate investors on the operator’s future.

Detailing its approach, Pacific stated that it would move to split Tatts lucrative lotteries division from its under-performing ‘wagering’ (sports betting) assets. The consortium will either ‘spin-off’ Tatts wagering arm into a separate enterprise or sell its assets to interested parties.

Both the governances of Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill have highlighted the strategic importance of expanding their businesses within the competitive Australian betting market, which has seen costs increase as a number of international operators move-in to challenge legacy operators Tabcorp and Tatts.

2015 saw Tatts launch its new retail and online betting brand UBET, in a move to unify its TAB betting arms for Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

To date, Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill have concentrated their Australian businesses via digital verticals, a successful purchase of Tatts wagering assets could see the operators launch a retail betting enterprises for the Australian market.

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