SYDNEY Oct 18 Australian gambling companies
Tatts Group Limited and Tabcorp Holdings Ltd
requested trading halts on Tuesday to pursue talks to create a
A$9.34 billion ($7.1 billion) industry giant.
An investment banker involved in talks between the pair, who
declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak publicly,
said no deal had been reached but discussions were serious and a
transaction could be announced within the next two days.
In almost identical statements to the stock exchange, the
companies requested trading halts until the beginning of trade
on Wednesday, pending "a potential change of control
transaction". A Tabcorp spokeswoman declined to comment. Tatts
Group was not immediately available for comment.
The companies previously discussed a tie-up in 2015, when
they failed to reach an agreement. Speculation about renewing
that attempt has been rife as the pair continue to fight the
deregulation of gambling licences.
Tabcorp and Tatts indicated in their statements on Tuesday
that the deal under consideration would be done as a scheme of
arrangement, which would require the approval of 75 percent of
the target's shareholders by value through a vote at a
($1 = 1.3187 Australian dollars)
(Editing by Jane Wardell and Stephen Coates)