The massive Tabcorp and Tatts gambling empire merger is getting closer

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The multi-billion dollar merger of the gaming businesses Tabcorp and Tatts is expected to be completed in November.

The two agreed in October 2016 to create a diversified gambling entertainment group and ASX 50 company with an enterprise value of $11.3 billion and a market capitalisation of about $8.6 billion.

The deal will create a new entity combining TAB betting, lotteries, Keno and gaming services and is expected to deliver at least $130 million of annual synergies and business improvements.

Together, they would have combined revenue of $5.2 billion.

The deal still has regulatory approvals to be finalised.

The Australian Competition Tribunal granted authorisation for the Transaction in June 2017.

However, the consumer watchdog, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) applied to the Federal Court of Australia for judicial review of the tribunal’s authorisation.

A decision still has to be announced but Tabcorp says it’s confident that the tribunal’s authorisation will be upheld.

The latest move toward the merger is a scheduled meeting of Tatts shareholders next month to vote on the deal.

“With substantially all pre-implementation regulatory approvals now in place, we look forward to continuing to work with Tatts to successfully complete the Transaction and are expecting implementation to take place in November 2017,” says Tabcorp chair Paula Dwyer.

“Together we will be well placed to pursue more investment and innovation across all our businesses, including best-in-class digital products and experiences.”

AustralianSuper, one of Tatts’ largest shareholders, has indicated it intends to vote its Tatts shares in favour of the merger.

After the merger, Tabcorp shareholders will end up with 42% of the combined group and Tatts about 58%.

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