Tabcorp calls off CEO search as board reviews all future options

Tabcorp Holdings has postponed its search for a new Chief Executive to replace David Attenborough, as its board undertakes a strategic review related to the firm’s future options. 

Updating stakeholders, Tabcorp’s board confirmed that the company had reviewed a number of ‘unsolicited approaches’ to acquire the ASX firm’s TAB wagering unit.

Tabcorp’s board has deemed the proposed valuation of TAB at AUS $3 billion (€2bn) as an ‘undervalued approach’ for the group’s wagering and media assets.

Maintaining its duties to maximise shareholder value, Tabcorp’s board will undertake a strategic review led by new company chairman Steven Gregg.

The review will focus on examining options related to the potential sale of TAB or a demerger of Tatts lottery and keno assets. Furthermore, Tabcorp disclosed that its Gaming Services unit would be evaluated as part of its review.

“The assessment of Tabcorp’s strategic and ownership options includes, but is not limited to, a demerger or sale of one or more of our businesses,” Gregg commented to company investors.

“Our clear objective is to ensure that we fully maximise the value of Tabcorp’s businesses for our shareholders.” 

As a result, Tabcorp has suspended the executive search for David Attenborough’s replacement. The outgoing CEO had formerly announced that he would resign from all company duties at the end of 2021 interim trading.

Last February, FTSE100 Entain Plc revealed that it had made a tentative approach to acquire TAB but chose not to publish any financial information related to its bid.

Since Entain’s initial approach, Australian business news sources have reported that multiple private equity funds are eyeing to take the TAB private.

Despite the mounting interest,  TAB suitors have been warned by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that the winning bid will have to secure TAB horse racing funding duties and retail network rights across Australia’s six states, maintaining individual gambling laws.

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