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Entain disappointed by Tabcorp demerger plans

Entain has expressed its disappointment at the decision from Tabcorp to pursue a demerger of its Lotteries & Keno business.

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Tabcorp earlier today announced it will pursue a demerger strategy with BetMakers, which will see all current bids for its wagering business rejected, and would result in two standalone ASX-listed businesses; Lotteries and KenoCo and Wagering and GamingCo.

Entain was one of a handful of groups that had declared interest in Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media arm, as well as private equity group Apollo Global Management. Both had made offers worth AU$3.5bn (US$2.7bn), with Entain’s initial offer of AU$3bn rejected by the Australian operator.

Australian technology company BetMakers had also offered to buy the struggling business, but today’s announcement has put an end to any potential negotiations. The two groups will instead work together to discuss international commercial opportunities.

“Entain is disappointed by the decision of the Tabcorp board, as we believe our all-cash offer would have delivered superior outcomes for shareholders, customers, employees and the wider industry,” a statement from Entain read.

“Price discipline is essential in building on the significant shareholder value that our global growth strategy will deliver for all our stakeholders and we have a healthy pipeline of opportunities.”

Entain also stated that its Australian business - comprising the Ladbrokes, Neds, Betstar and Bookmaker brands - continues to build on a record year in 2020, with the company adding that it is confident of going “from strength to strength as it delivers innovative and highly engaging products for its customers as well as supporting the health of the wider Australian racing industry.”

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