After running for quite some time now, the corporate merger between Australian Tabcorp and Tatts Group comes to a head ten days after the Supreme Court of Victoria approves the takeover schedule. The approval comes a year after the initial offer has been put on the table.
Tabcorp and Tatts Group have started the takeover negotiations at the end of the last year 2016, only for Tabcorp to withdraw their application in March this year for informal clearance to proceed with the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer) and file the same application for authorization with the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT).
In the meantime, Tatts Group got another bid totaling AU$7.3 billion made by a private equity firm Pacific Consortium. Tatts Group Shareholders actually later rejected the bid.
Later on, ACT (Australian Competition Tribunal) approved the merger to happen, however, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer) and the Australian betting company – Crownbet, argued and filed for a judicial review of the decision to the Federal Court of Australia.
The ACCC representatives, as well as some of Australia’s biggest betting companies like Crownbet, Racing.com and Racing Victoria, had their own claims at the hearings at the Federal Court of Australia, that the merger would unfairly impact the entire market, the competition, and the pricing altogether.
To whole this the corporate regulator’s chairman, Rod Sims stated: "When the ACCC sought review of the tribunal's earlier determination, our purpose was to clarify the law,"
"We achieved that objective, with the Full [Federal] Court making it clear that the tribunal was required to take in to account all competitive detriment that is likely to result from the proposed merger."
Justice Middleton also released a brief summary on the decision made: "the proposed merger is likely to result in substantial public benefits" and that "the detriments identified by the ACCC and the interveners are unlikely to either arise or are not otherwise material".
"The tribunal is satisfied in all the circumstances that the proposed merger would result, or would be likely to result, in such a benefit to the public that the acquisition should be allowed to occur."
After the whole review ended, the merger got approved for the second time by the ACT in November. Then, the merged executive team came out with an announcement that Tabcorp CEO, David Attenborough will take over the CEO role of the combined company team.
The new and combined board will total eight executives from Tabcorp along with the Tatts Group executives, Director of Lotteries and Keno, Sue van der Merwe, Managing Director of Gaming Services, Frank Makryllos and Chief Information Officer Mandy Ross, counting the team up to 11 members.
David Attenborough as the CEO of Tabcorp made an announcement regarding the appointing and has said: “Tabcorp’s new Executive Leadership Team brings together executives from both Tabcorp and Tatts. I am very pleased to have such a strong team in place from day one as we enter a new era for these two great companies.
“The combination has created a world-class, diversified gambling entertainment group. Our new Executive Leadership Team, together with our more than 5000 people, will work to deliver the material benefits the combination is expected to create for shareholders, the racing industry, business partners, customers, and governments.”