Ladbrokes Coral PLC, following the £2.3bn merger of Ladbrokes and Coral in November, are reported to be weighing up the possibility of a £2bn takeover of Australian operator Tapcorp Holdings.
In an attempt to expand its global presence, Ladbrokes Coral to have allegedly employed advisors to study the potential acquisition and draw up a takeover bid.
Any bid offered by Ladbrokes Coral PLC is likely to bring the planned AUS $11bn (£6.6bn) merger of Tabcorp and Australian market rival Tatts Group to a standstill.
Ladbrokes placed a bid for Tabcorp back in 2013,, which was quickly rejected by CEO David Attenborough, and prior to its merger with Coral, Ladbrokes leadership have continued to express their interest in the Australian betting market throughout 2015 and 2016. This significant market has also been targeted by a number of Ladbrokes Coral’s UK competitors, such as William Hill, Paddy Power and Bet365.
In October, Tabcorp and Tatts governance resumed merger talks, remaining confident that the merger will clear the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) review process. The merged entity would challenge international operators seeking to expand into the Australian market.
Rumours of Ladbrokes Coral’s plans to place a bid for Tabcorp have surfaced just as the Australian government have proposed new gambling legislation, which may lead to an eventual crackdown on offshore gambling operators. The potential acquisition Tabcorp may be a way of securing Ladbroke Coral’s future security and profitability in the Australian market.