You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Tabcorp shareholders content with merger

AAP logoAAP 24/10/2016

Tabcorp shareholders seem quite content to let the board forge ahead with its planned merger with Tatts Group to create a $9 billion gambling juggernaut.

Indeed, the Tabcorp's board fielded just two questions about the proposed merger at its annual general meeting, which lasted only an hour on Tuesday morning.

Australian Shareholders Association representative Mary Curran said there was concern Tabcorp shareholders would not get to vote on the proposed merger, despite the company issuing more than 100 per cent of its share capital to fund the deal and Tatts shareholders having the opportunity to vote.

"There is clearly a gap in the legislative rules, which we understand ASX are looking to fix. Will Tabcorp voluntarily provide its shareholders with an opportunity to vote on the transaction?" Ms Curran asked.

Tabcorp chair Paula Dwyer said the merger would be effected by Tatts's scheme of arrangement, and there was no requirement under corporations law, or the ASX listing rules, for Tabcorp shareholders to vote.

But, she said, shareholders should rest assured that the board was unanimous in their view the merger represented compelling value for them.

"I think you will have seen that through the commentary last week in response to the announcement of the transaction, and in particular some of our major shareholders have come in with strong support for the terms of the transaction," Ms Dwyer said.

"So, the transaction is in the interests of our shareholders, we believe it represents compelling value for our shareholders and we look forward to getting through the regulatory hurdles and implementing it."

Shareholder Gordon Coe asked whether there were any plans to sell off Tabcorp's lotteries business after the merger. Ms Dwyer said there were none.

Shareholders then swiftly voted for Ms Dwyer and Justin Milne's re-election as a board director, and passed the renumeration report, before tucking into lunch.

Ms Dwyer later admitted she was surprised by the meeting's brevity after all the preparation, but added that she hadn't expected a hostile reception because "Tabcorp shareholders aren't hostile".

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon