The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au) has reported that Tabcorp governance rejected a joint venture approach by Ladbrokes Plc, in a move that would have rocked the Australian betting market.
Ladbrokes are reported to have proposed the joint venture in late 2013, with the firm looking to create Australia’s biggest gambling operator.
At the time Ladbrokes had launched its Australian betting division ‘Ladbrokes Australia’, with a view of rapidly establishing its operations ahead of other UK competitors entering the fast growing market.
Ladbrokes governance had studied the possibility of aligning its operations with an established market operator, eyeing a venture partnership with Tabcorp. The operator has continuously detailed the importance of its growth in the Australian market, as it looks to secure further international revenues away from the highly saturated UK betting sector.
The proposed joint venture is said to have been quickly rejected by Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough, who saw little benefit for his firm in the proposal.
In the two years since the venture proposal, the market has seen vast change with Paddy Power, William Hill and bet365 entering the market and offering Australian betting consumers more dynamic betting products.
In November Tabcorp and main competitor Tatts Group were reported to have entered merger discussions to create a $9 billion enterprise. However the governances’ of both firms could not agree on merger terms.
Despite the merger failure, Australian industry analysts believe that Tabcorp and Tatts may enter some form of corporate union in 2016, amid ever increasing market competition.