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Entain faces battle to buy Australia's largest sports betting firm

Tabcorp's Wagering & Media arm made A$2.1bn in the year to end-June 2020, mostly from bets on horse racing

Entain PLC -
A familiar trackside sight in Aus

Entain PLC (LON:ENT), the owner of Ladbrokes, says it has proposed an acquisition of Australia’s largest gambling company’s wagering and media business, but may be up against other potential bids.

The FTSE 100 group said talks with Tabcorp Holdings Ltd (ASX:TAH) are “at an early stage”.

In response to media reports, Tabcorp also confirmed in a statement that it had received “a number of unsolicited approaches and proposals” regarding its wagering arm.

“The proposals were expressed to be confidential, indicative, non-binding and subject to numerous conditions including due diligence, financing and various regulatory approvals,” the Melbourne-based group said.

Tabcorp, which also has a large lotteries arm, is currently valued at just under A$10bn (£5.6bn). Its Wagering & Media arm made A$2.1bn in its last full year to June 2020, mostly from horse racing bets, with underlying profit (EBIT) of A$175mln.

Entain, which was until recently known as GVC Holdings, has been pursuing a strategy of expanding across regulated international markets, such as its recently agreed deal for Baltics-focused gambling group Enlabs.

As such, the company said a takeover of Tabcorp “would present an opportunity to acquire an attractive business which, if combined with Entain's existing Australian business, would create a leading, integrated multi-channel and multi-brand wagering company”.

Quick facts: Entain PLC

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Price: 2262 GBX

Market Cap: £13.25 billion

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