Sun Bets termination costs Tabcorp £40 million

The governance of Australia ASX-listed Tabcorp Holdings has confirmed that it has completed discussions with News UK to terminate its Sun Bets joint-venture.

The Sun Bets enterprise will cease trading in the coming days, with Tabcorp set to make a £40 million payment to exit its UK betting joint-venture agreement which began in 2016.

Updating investors, David Attenborough Group Chief Executive of Tabcorp stated:

“The performance of Sun Bets has been below expectations and we do not expect a material improvement over the next 18 months. As such, we have reached an agreement with News UK to exit the agreement.

While we didn’t get it right, we have taken valuable learnings from the Sun Bets start-up process and operations which will inform our approach across our portfolio”.

Following a costly 2017 for Sun Bets enterprise, Tabcorp governance would place the joint-venture under strategic-review.

Last June, Tabcorp governance would trigger negotiations with Rupert Murdoch’s News UK to terminate the JV arrangement.

In its corporate update, Tabcorp governance details that it expects ‘significant costs items’ in its interim report to increase to approximately AUS $91 million (£52 million), with the company absorbing Sun Bets exit payment during the forthcoming trading period.

News UK would issue the following statement regarding the closure of Sun Bets;

“The Sun is the number one newspaper and digital newsbrand in the UK and we have launched many successful brand extensions such as Sun Bingo and Dream Team. We are increasingly confident in the reach and power of the brand and will firmly remain in the betting and gaming business. We now look forward to executing our vision”.