Tabcorp Delays Search For Replacement CEO As Board Evaluates Strategic Options

Tabcorp Holdings’ hunt for a new Chief Executive to succeed David Attenborough has been delayed as the board conducts a strategic assessment of the company’s potential options.

Tabcorp’s board of directors told shareholders that the group had reviewed a number of “unsolicited approaches” to purchase the ASX firm’s TAB wagering unit.

The suggested assessment of TAB at AUS $3 billion (€2 billion) by Tabcorp’s board has been considered a “undervalued approach” for the group’s wagering and media properties.

Board to conduct a strategic analysis

Tabcorp’s board of directors will conduct a strategic analysis, headed by the company chairman Steven Gregg, in order to maximise shareholder value.

The focus of the analysis will be on options for a possible sale of TAB or a demerger of Tatts lottery and keno properties. Tabcorp also announced that its Gaming Services division will be scrutinised as part of the investigation.

Gregg told company investors: “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.

‘Maximise the value of Tabcorp’s businesses’

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

As a result, Tabcorp has stopped the executive search for a replacement for David Attenborough. The outgoing CEO has previously stated that he would retire from all business responsibilities at the close of temporary trading in 2021.

Last February, FTSE100 Entain Plc announced that it had made a preliminary offer to buy TAB, but decided not to disclose any financial details about the deal.

Multiple private equity firms have shown interest in taking the TAB private since Entain’s initial approach, according to Australian business news outlets.

Despite the heightened demand, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned TAB suitors that the winning bid must protect TAB horse racing funding duties and distribution network privileges across Australia’s six states while upholding individual gambling laws.