Tattersall’s deal looming

Even though Tattersall’s bid for UK gaming operator, Talarius, through their joint venture with Macquarie Bank, European Gaming Ltd., looks certain to be successful investors are still wary. Shares in the Australian company rose a tiny two cents (AUS), with investors perhaps sceptical of the longevity of the joint venture.
Tattersall’s have had interest in Talarius, which is listed on the Alternative Investments Market (AIM) in London, since last year and upped its offer by 10p a share to 280p late last Friday, valuing Talarius at £142 million. Analysts believe the new offer will be sufficient to secure the deal.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Tattersall’s announced it had secured “irrevocable undertaking” and had a “non-legally binding letter of intent” from major shareholders.

Previous to Tattersall’s latest bid, Paddy Power were also said to be in the picture, but that interest is now said to have cooled.

Once the deal goes ahead, Talarius will provide Tattersall’s with a significant presence in the UK gaming industry where Talarius controls 17 percent of the market, but perhaps more importantly it will give them a strong foundation to expand into Europe from.

However, according to Tattersall’s own management, the joint venture between Tattersall’s and Macquarie Bank, European Gaming, has no real long term future despite both companies have invested $109(AUS) in the partnership. The venture is being used as a vehicle to push Tattersall’s into the European market, claming the partnership is more of a “marriage of convenience which may not last long”.

“I don't think we would be looking beyond three years to see how the business might be restructured,” said Dick McIIwain, Tattersall’s chief executive.

As such, once the deal is completed Tattersall’s will begin to look for further acquisition opportunities.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-01-03 12:22:06

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