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Tabcorp Takeover Bid Rejected

17 Aug 2006

AUSTRALIA – As reported by Bloomberg News: "Tabcorp's hostile offer of 1.9 billion Australian dollars for Unitab was rejected by the Australian antitrust regulator Wednesday on grounds the combined company would dominate betting on horse races.

"The deal would have been worth the equivalent of $1.45 billion.

"Unitab shares tumbled 5 percent after the regulator said it opposed Tabcorp's plan to add betting shops in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory to its own outlets in the two most populous Australian states, Victoria and New South Wales.

"The decision increases the likelihood that Duncan Fischer, the chief executive of Tattersall's, could succeed in his 1.8 billion dollar bid for Unitab, based in Brisbane. Fischer wants to acquire Unitab to reduce his dependence on lotteries and slot machines as well as give him a wagering unit to bid for Tabcorp's license in Victoria when it expires in 2012.

"…Shares of Tattersall's rose 20 cents, or 7 percent, to 3.07 dollars in Sydney on Wednesday. Unitab fell 72 cents, or 5 percent, to 13.80 dollars and Tabcorp slid 40 cents, or 2.6 percent, to 14.90 dollars…"

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