In Australia, the national competition regulator has reportedly extended its deadline to make a final determination on the long-awaited $4.8 billion takeover of Tatts Group Limited by rival bookmaker Tabcorp Holdings Limited.
According to a report from local newspaper The Australian, the merger was due to be completed before June 13 after initially being agreed in October but a growing list of objections from other domestic operators has seen the Australian Competition Tribunal postpone its final decision by another three months with an ultimate ruling now not expected before September.
“Tabcorp Holdings Limited today announces that, as foreshadowed during its hearings last week, the Australian Competition Tribunal has confirmed that it has formally extended the period in which to make its determination on Tabcorp Holdings Limited’s application for authorization to proceed with its proposed combination with Tatts Group Limited to no later than September 10, 2017,” read a Thursday statement from Tabcorp Holdings Limited. “Tabcorp Holdings Limited and Tatts Group Limited are progressing the other government and regulatory approvals required for the transaction and working towards implementing the transaction in the third quarter of 2017.”
Melbourne-based Tabcorp Holdings Limited has a reported market capitalization of around $3 billion and operates Australia-facing brands including Sky Racing and Tab.com while having experience in the United Kingdom thanks to a partnership with The Sun newspaper. The merger would allegedly create the biggest gambling company in Australia worth around $8.2 billion and provide stiff competition to established operators such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Unibet, and Bet365.
Tabcorp Holdings Limited reportedly explained that the three-month delay was due to the Australian Competition Tribunal needing “additional time” in order to ensure that its final determination complies with its previously-established “confidentiality regime” while the bookmaker additionally declared that a successful ruling on the proposed takeover of its Brisbane-based rival could see the body need further added period “in order to finalize the conditions prior to the formal granting of that authorization”.