Apollo tables AUS $4bn offer for TAB

US private equity fund Apollo Global has entered the pursuit of Australia’s highly prized TAB by tabling an initial AUS $4 billion (€2.5bn) offer to acquire the Tabcorp Holdings wagering unit.

Apollo’s bid sees the US fund target taking control of Tabcorp’s wagering and media division and its further related ‘pokies’ machine subsidiary unit. 

A secondary offer of AUS 3.5 billion has been proposed by Apollo to solely acquire Tabcorp’s TAB unit – matching the revised offer proposed by Entain Plc last month.

Tabcorp informed that it would review both Apollo and Entain’s offers, as corporate executives undertake a review of the company’s strategic options – weighing up the potential sale of its wagering unit and a spin-off of its Tatts lottery and keno division.

Despite M&A interest, Tabcorp Chairman Steven Gregg has stated that there is no guaranteed outcome of a TAB sale, as the unit delivered better than anticipated financial results during difficult 2020 trading.

Tabcorp maintains that its strategic review will examine all company options, keeping its promise to deliver long-term investor value which was pledged following the company’s AUS $11 billion merger with Tatts Group in 2018.

An active player in gambling M&A, this week Apollo disclosed its interest in acquiring William Hill’s UK and European divisions, which have been put up for sale by new owner Caesars Entertainment.

The US fund is seeking to increase its footprint within a disrupted global gambling landscape by taking on a number of consecutive billion-dollar M&A deals.

In Europe, Apollo has grown its gambling portfolio by acquiring the Italian gambling assets of Lottomatica Scommesse units and merging them with Gamenet Group, while guaranteeing Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Group’s €500 million M&A fund. 

North American gambling investments include the firm’s recent acquisition of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation for over CAD$3.3bn and its agreed takeover of Las Vegas Sands casino properties for $6 billion, a deal agreed in March.

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