The potential sale of Tabcorp wagering and media business will face challenges from the ACCC and businessman Peter V’landys.
ACCC Closely Monitoring Tabcorp Takeover
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it is closely monitoring the mounting interest in gambling and gaming giant Tabcorp Holdings’ wagering and media arm.
Last week, Tabcorp revealed that it had received multiple unsolicited takeover bids for its wagering and media business. According to the company, the proposals for its non-core business were confidential and non-binding. Furthermore, Tabcorp emphasized that there was no certainty than any transaction would take place.
The ACCC has stressed that a transaction of this magnitude, should it take place, to begin with, would likely change the face of the Australian wagering market. According to recent estimates, Tabcorp’s wagering and media branch are worth roughly AUS$ 3 billion.
If a transaction is to take place, the winning bidder would have to convince the ACCC that the purchase would be beneficial to the racing market and that it would adhere to all wagering rules across different states.
Tabcorp has yet to receive a formal bid, though several prospective buyers have been identified. This includes a number of betting companies and private equity groups. And, of course, UK-based sports betting leader Entain.
Business Magnate V’landys Will Not Sit Idly By
The deal will also face significant resistance from an initially unexpected party – Racing New South Wales (RNSW) and Chief Executive Peter V’landys – one of the most influential sports administrators in Australia.
V’landys recently said that Racing NSW had not been approached regarding the potential Tabcorp deal. He insists that Tabcorp and the winning better would have to reach an agreement with Racing NSW before the deal can be finalized. “…we will certainly not be giving that approval lightly”, he added.
He stressed that the takeover would have to satisfy Racing NSW’s needs and requirements. This would not be taken lightly given that the industry is trying to stabilize and recover from the significant economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, V’landys said.
Furthermore, he warned bidders that Racing NSW and the racing market as a whole will not sit idly by throughout the entire takeover process. According to V’landys, Racing NSW would not allow important decisions regarding its future Tabcorp funding duties to be made behind closed doors.