Both William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral are top gambling operators in the United Kingdom who may be showing interest in acquiring Tatts Group, the top betting operator in Australia. Media reports suggest that the UK companies may soon be in a bidding war in the hopes of acquiring the business.
Tatts currently manage the UBET sports betting brand as one of the largest gambling companies in the country. The wagering division has exclusive rights to provide services for retail sports betting in several areas including Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland. The company provides wagering opportunities for harness racing, thoroughbred as well as greyhound racing, plus sports. A wagering website is also operated by UBET.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill have shown interest in acquiring the brand at the same time that Tatts is being considered by two other groups, Pacific Consortium and Tabcorp. Tatts has been in talks with Tabcorp and is considering a A$11 billion merger over the past few months. It has been suggested that the two would join forces by summer of next year if the proper regulation requirements are completed in the right time frame.
Another bid has been made for Tatts as well, this time from a group of companies with Macquarie taking the lead. Additional companies in the Macquarie consortium include Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, First State, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The bid from the group is reported to be A$7.3 billion.
It is unknown if Tatts will choose to create a larger company by merging with Tabcorp of if they will choose to go with Pacific Consortium. If a merger were to take place, all business would take place under one brand. If the consortium were to take over, the brands of Tatts would be split and a separate brand could be made by each buyer.
So far there has been no official confirmation from William Hill or Ladbrokes Coral as to the veracity of the reports.