Apollo Global Management, a global investment management firm, has offered $4 billion (US$3.1 billion) for Tabcorp’s sports wagering and media division and its gaming services.
Tabcorp’s betting and media arm have seen a lot of interest recently. London-listed Entain, the owner of Australian bookies Ladbrokes and Neds, also made a bid for the largest Australian gambling company a week ago, and a couple of other suitors are said to be considering making their offers too.
Apollo made two offers to Tabcorp. The first one was a combined $4 billion offer and the second one was a $3.5 billion proposal for the sports betting and media business alone.
Tabcorp said that this revised offer was subject to a lot of conditions. These included due diligence, financing, getting the regulatory approvals, as well as all the third-party consents.
They added that the Tabcorp Board was yet to form a view on the benefits of Apollo’s revised bid. They said that they would first see if the offer fit with the company’s strategic review, and would only make a decision afterwards.
A Lot of Suitors
Apollo’s revised offer is higher than the $2.7 billion offer that Entain lodged. However, it’s worth mentioning that the UK company didn’t bid for Tabcorp’s gaming services unit and was only making an offer for the Wagering & Media arm.
And Entain and Apollo are not alone. Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate, is making a foray into the sports betting market and has set his sights on Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media division as his next move.
His Fox Corp is said to be considering making an offer and now that Apollo and Entain have made their revised bids, it is to be expected that the Murdochs, if they are really interested, will act too.
Tough Decisions Ahead
Tabcorp is the largest gambling company in Australia. It employs more than 5,000 people and dominates the Australian wagering market with its products: Wagering and Media, Lotteries and Keno, and Gaming Services.
The big decision that the company now has to make is whether to sell Wagering and Media and Lotteries and Keno to a third party as package deals. Another option is to de-merge either of the products and sell them alone.
Apollo is also going to make some important decisions soon. The US private equity investment firm is said to be interested in William Hill’s European betting business as part of its sports betting expansion and has been on the lookout for other potential deals.
Apollo was founded in 1990 and has offices in the US, in the UK, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo. It might have one in Australia soon too.