The bidding war for the Wagering and Media business of Australian gambling powerhouse Tabcorp Holdings Limited just expanded to new dimensions as one more bidder tabled an offer late last week.
Betting technology firm BetMakers Technology Group Ltd., also based in Australia and listed on the ASX, approached the operator with a A$4 billion stock and cash bid, joining European gambling giant Entain and US private equity outfit Apollo Global Management in the race for Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media business.
BetMakers said last week that its offer is comprised of cash consideration of A$1 billion and new BetMakers shares with an approximate value of A$3 billion. The number of shares to be issued would be fixed when and if a transaction is agreed between Tabcorp and the betting and racing software maker. These shares would be priced at a 15% premium to the BetMakers share price at the time.
This is the highest of all three offers for Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media unit. Earlier this month, Apollo tabled a A$3.5 billion bid for the same unit. The buyout firm made a separate A$4 billion offer that also included Tabcorp’s poker machine business.
Back in February, Entain, which runs the Ladbrokes and Neds operations in Australia, made a A$3 billion offer for Tabcorp’s TAB and media operations, which the Aussie firm rejected a month later as too low. The rejection prompted Entain to raise its offer to A$3.5 billion.
Tabcorp Yet to Form View on Latest Offer
Tabcorp said last week that it has not yet formed a view on the merits of BetMakers’ proposal and that it would assess it in the context of its ongoing strategic review.
The gambling company launched the review earlier this year after a slew of companies expressed interest in its Wagering and Media unit. Aside from Entain, Apollo, and now BetMakers, Murdoch family-owned was understood to have too been interested in acquiring the above-mention operations in partnership with Aussie online sports betting veteran Matthew Tripp.
Tabcorp has explained that the objective of its strategic review is to assess all “structural and ownership options to maximize the value of Tabcorp’s business for the benefit of shareholders.”
These options may include the sale of its Wagering and Media business to a third party or a potential demerger of its Wagering and Media business or its Lotteries and Keno business.
If Tabcorp chooses to accept BetMakers’ offer, the transaction would be subject to a number of closing conditions, including due diligence, regulatory approvals, approvals from third parties, and arranging financing, among others.
Source: Acquisition proposal received for the Wagering and Media business, Tabcorp Newsroom, May 28, 2021