Entain has issued a statement expressing ‘disappointment’ at the decision by Australian operator Tabcorp Holdings to demerge its Wagering & Gaming and Lotteries & Keno businesses.
Making its announcement this morning, Tabcorp revealed plans to establish the aforementioned business sections as independent ASX registered companies – known as Wagering & GamingCo and Lotteries & KenoCo respectively – with jurisdiction across most of Australia in addition to some international operations on the part of the sports betting unit.
FTSE 100-listed Entain had previously bid for Tabcorp’s TAB sports wagering division, having seen its initial bid of AUS $3 billion (€2 billion) rejected by the Australian firm for ‘grossly undervaluing’ the unit on sale.
Following this, Entain increased its bid to AUS $3.5 billion (€2.2 billion), receiving neither a confirmation or a rejection from the prospective seller.
The company’s statement read: “Entain is disappointed by the decision of the Tabcorp Board, as we believe our all-cash offer would have delivered superior outcomes for shareholders, customers, employees and the wider industry.
“Price discipline is essential in building on the significant shareholder value that our global growth strategy will deliver for all our stakeholders and we have a healthy pipeline of opportunities.
“Entain’s Australian business, comprising the Ladbrokes, Neds, Betstar and Bookmaker brands, continues to build on a record year in 2020. We are confident that it will go from strength to strength as it delivers innovative and highly engaging products for its customers as well as supporting the health of the wider Australian racing industry.”
Entain also continues to face stiff competition in the TAB bidding contest from Tabcorp’s fellow ASX-listed company BetMakers, which has offered AUS $4 billion (€2.5 billion) to acquire the TAB division, a move which the firm believes will benefit both Australian horse racing and the country’s betting customers.
Although rejecting all proposals for the purchase of its TAB unit, Tabcorp maintains that it will continue dialogue with prospective buyers as it continues to search for profitable opportunities for its investors.