KKR & Co. backed Pacific Consortium announced on Friday it was done working on an A$6.15 billion (US$4,627,260,000) acquisition offer for Tatts Group Ltd after the target company’s board said Friday the offers was not “superior” to an offer already made by and agreed with Tabcorp Holdings Ltd.
Tabcorp had much to lose if Pacific Consortium would have bested them in the takeover as Tatts owns a small betting business in competition with Tabcorp and the steady and reliable lottery income stream including several monopolies will add strength to one of the world’s largest publicly listed gaming companies.
In the October announcement of a deal between Tabcorp and Tatt’s, which was unanimously recommended by both boards, Tabcorp claimed the deal would create Pro forma enterprise value of approximately $11.3 billion, revenue of over $5 billion, EBITDA of over $1 billion, and a strong balance sheet with an intended investment grade credit rating. They also stated that the merger/takeover could deliver at least $130 million of annual EBITDA synergies and business improvements with net benefits to the racing industry.
Tabcorp picked up 10% of Tatts shares in November which was seen as a move to strengthen their position in the takeover.
Tabcorp employs some 3,000 people and was created in 1994 when Victorian TAB was privatized. The company has over 1,900 retail outlets, over 300,000 sports bet customers over the wires, on-course betting at more than 250 racecourses, and serves over a million regular customers each year.
Announcing the pullback, Pacific Consortium Chairwoman Kerry Schott said in a statement: “Given the current approach of the Tatts board the consortium does not intend to undertake further work on its proposal.”
The Tabcorp deal is not a given, however, as Australia‘s competition watchdog has not yet given its blessing to the deal and a negative ruling, that could come as early as June, may offer Pacific Consortium another opportunity to go in for the win, possibly with a far less lucrative offer.
Many of Tatts institutional investors are biding their time until the Australian Competition Tribunal decision comes down.
Tatts shares were down nearly 5% Friday on the Pacific Consortium news to A$4.23 and closed at A$4.42 Monday.
Tatts rejected a proposal from Pacific Consortium in December. Pacific Consortium is comprised in the main of Macquarie Group Ltd, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, and First State Superannuation Scheme.