Tabcorp Holdings governance enters a crucial week for its planned AUS $11 billion merger with main market rival Tatts Group, as its takeover deal is set to be presented to the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT).
In a surprise move last March, Tabcorp governance announced that it had decided to switch the regulatory body reviewing its Tatts merger ditching the Australia Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) for the ‘stakeholder friendly’ ACT.
In its review of Tabcorp-Tatts, the ACCC preliminary findings had largely approved of the combination, but flagged competitor concerns regarding the creation of Australia’s outright gambling leader.
As lead enterprise in the merger, Tabcorp has argued that the ACCC has overstated competitor market concerns stating that they are an ‘artificial construct’ by rivals seeking to use the commission’s process to effect changes for their own commercial interests.
Presenting its application to the ACT in March, Tabcorp governance highlighted that its Tatts merger had already gained approval from a majority of corporate investors and that its deal was supported by wider Australian gambling stakeholders such as racing, leisure venues and community officials.
Seeking to speed up the merger process, Tabcorp governance has requested that ACT officials disregard ACCC concerns detailing that they are ‘not connected with reality’. “Such concerns are wholly irrelevant to the task of
“Such concerns are wholly irrelevant to the task of tribunal and ought properly be disregarded.” Tabcorp ACT submission argues.
Following a rocky start to 2017, Tabcorp governance has come under investor pressure to deliver its Tatts merger by the end of the year.