State of Play : State of Play - Issue 3
24 | FEATURE | It is a case of third time lucky for the historic Tabcorp-Tatts merger, with the two key players on the Australian gambling scene finally sealing a union that eluded them back in 2015 when talks were held on a possible merger. Before that, Tabcorp had tried to acquire Unitab, the Queensland forerunner to Tatts' UBET wagering business, in 2006, but the deal was blocked by the competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The final attempt to bring the businesses together has taken more than 14 months from start to finish. The latest plans for the merger were first announced back in October 2016, and the transaction has taken a long and winding path through various layers of approvals. But with the support of pubs and clubs, TAB agencies, news and lottery agencies and the racing industry throughout most of Australia, the deal was finally done at the end of last year. The combination, which was endorsed by Tatts' shareholders in December, creates a world-class gambling-led entertainment business with a national footprint operating in wagering, media, lotteries, Keno and gaming services. The new Tabcorp is now one of the largest publicly listed gambling companies in the world and one of the 50 largest companies trading on the Australian stock exchange. Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough told media the merger was a fascinating and exciting transaction to work on given its complexity. "If you had a scale of one to 10 of complexity, it would be up towards a 10,' he said. "It has been an extremely complex transaction, but that's what gets a lot of us up in the morning. These are the sorts of things that are really exciting to work on." TABCORP AND TATTS COMBINE It's a much anticipated union, and one that took over a year to come to fruition. The Tabcorp-Tatts merger ended 2017 on a high for the industry, but what does this merger mean for the business, its employees and its network of venue partners? Rick Wallace, Tabcorp's Media Relations Manager, explains.
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