Tatts rejects Macquarie bid in favour of Tabcorp merger

Australia’s Tatts Group has today (Friday) turned down a takeover offer worth A$7.3 billion (€5 billion/US$5.3 billion) from a consortium led by Macquarie Group, in favour of proceeding with a proposed merger with rival Tabcorp.

In a statement, Tatts said the Macquarie-led bid “is not a superior proposal” when compared to the earlier Tabcorp offer, and that it would reject any further bids from the group.

Last week, the Pacific Consortium, which features Macquarie, Morgan Stanley and KKR & Co., put forward a bid worth between A$4.40 and A$5 per Tatts share, with the intention of either selling or separately listing the company’s betting and gambling business.

The offer came after Tatts in October opened talks with Tabcorp over a possible merger, which would lead to the creation of a combined business worth A$11.3 billion.

Tatts said in today’s statement that the Macquarie-led proposal was based on a number of assumptions, such as current net debt and lottery earnings, and that these are “either incorrect, inconsistent with Tatts’ current expectations or unknown”.

The firm also said that should the consortium return with a fresh bid, its board would reject the offer “given Tatts believes the total value offered is not superior to the proposed Tabcorp merger”.

In Sydney, Tatts shares initially fell 4.4% as a result of the news, but recovered slightly to a loss of 2.9%, while Tabcorp gained 0.2%, but suffered a loss of 0.3% in a broader market.

source : www.igamingbusiness.com

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