Tabcorp deny takeover

Following growing speculation that they are the target of a takeover, Australian gaming giant, Tabcorp, have denied that they have received any approaches from interested parties.

Media reports had suggested that a consortium made up of the owner of Melbourne's Crown Casino, Publishing and Broadcasting (PBL), Macquarie Bank and Tattersall’s Ltd. were pondering an approach for Tabcorp, which sent shares in the company to a record high last Tuesday.

Tabcorp have since released a statement saying they had “not been approached or been involved in any discussions concerning a possible takeover for the company”.

However, all three companies in the supposed consortium are certainly familiar with each other. Macquarie Bank and Tattersall’s bought British gaming company Talarius in January, whilst Macquarie Bank also joined forces with PBL to buy into Canadian casinos.

Meanwhile, the possibility of a takeover of Tabcorp has left analysts divided as to whether an approach would be likely, or even feasible.

"We believe Tabcorp is overvalued: perhaps the share price reflects takeover speculation. However, we believe the structure of Tabcorp (referring to the regulatory and government policy barriers in place) makes it a very difficult transaction to execute," a Credit Suisse analyst said.

Despite that, some fund mangers believe it is still a viable target.

"I don't think the stock is priced for perfection, quite the opposite. Why would someone like PBL not take a look?" one fund manager said.

Editor, - 2007-04-26 11:34:20

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