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Australian Market Punters Bet on TAB

6 Nov 2003

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the (Australia) Courier-Mail: "Market punters piled out of Queensland's UNiTAB and into TAB Ltd yesterday as bets were placed on the likely outcome of Tabcorp's ambitious $2.3 billion (US$1.62 billion) tilt for the NSW gaming group.

"Victoria's Tabcorp must overcome steep regulatory hurdles in its bid for TAB, announced after the market closed on Wednesday.

"The deal is also conditional on TAB abandoning its planned merger with UNiTAB.

"As expected, some of UNiTAB's takeover premium was skimmed from the share price as it lost 30¢ to close at $6.50 (US$4.59), but its performance surprised analysts who expected it to be hit harder.

"…Tabcorp fared similarly as it dropped 46¢ to $11.12 (US$7.85)and, in comparison, TAB emerged the winner on the day. It added 30¢, a hefty 8.15 per cent, to $3.98 (US$2.80) but it still closed a long way off Tabcorp's offer that effectively values it at $4.26 (US$3.00) per share.

"For the merger to succeed, the NSW Government must change current cross ownership legislation that bans casino and gaming licences being owned together and lift the limit prohibiting one party from owning more than 10 per cent…"

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