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Gaming Industry Awaits ACCC Verdict Regarding Unitab

A few days before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announces its decision over the Unitab bid of gaming giant Tabcorp Holdings, the best gambling industry speculators stick to their opinions and forecasts.

Steve Wheen, Macquarie Equities tourism and leisure analyst, told the media that ACCC is likely to approve Tabcorp's bid, which could potentially and even permanently erase Tattersall's from the picture.

"Tabcorp needs Unitab more than Tattersall's," Wheen said, adding, "From Tabcorp's perspective, it has operational and synergistic benefits as well as significant strategic benefits.

"If they (Tabcorp) do let Tattersall's win, Tabcorp risk losing their Victorian wagering licence."

This March, Tattersall's announced that it had agreed with Unitab's board to a "merger of equals." But barely 3 months later, Tabcorp launched its rival offer.

Meanwhile, at the rival's camp, Tattersall's Managing Director, Duncan Fischer said his gaming firm is not altering its offer pending the ACCC verdict on Tabcorp.

"We currently are the recommended offer, and we will stay with that until we know anything different," he told the media recently.

Unitab shareholders are expected to vote on Tattersall's bid in a few days.

Tattersall's bid has been cleared by the ACCC.

At the trading floor, Unitab shares closed at $14.52 or stronger by $0.12, while Tabcorp was up $0.10 to $15.30, and Tatts climbed $0.01 higher at $2.87.


29 January 2007
News Submitted by:
Jack Silverman

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