Tabcorp remains positive over merger issues

The Australian company believes that the merger with Tatts will still happen even if the Federal court ruled in favor of ACCC’s appeal.

Australia.- After the Federal Court upheld a petition that seeks the blocking of the US$6.9 billion plans between Australian companies Tatts and Tabcorp, the governance of the latter believes that the merger is still happening. There is a possibility that the companies would need to file a new application in order to get the merger reviewed again due to a time limit established in the legislation.

On Friday morning, Justice John Middleton, who is also the tribunal president, said that because the legislation contains a time frame that is close to its deadline, the tribunal may not have jurisdiction to review the measure again. Therefore, there is a slim possibility that Tabcorp and Tatts have to file a new application so the tribunal can review the merger, local media reported.

Whilst the public still needs a couple more days to find out the reasons why Justice Nye Perram decided to upheld the merger, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said that the entity is pleased with the Full Federal Court’s decision.

Tabcorp governance insisted that the merger plans are still set to be completed by November, as the company expects the ACT review to be done this month and a final vote of Tatts shareholders on October 18. Tabcorp is set to argue that the tribunal has legal grounds to review the case again at the tribunal tomorrow. A spokesman for the company said: “Tabcorp will be arguing that the tribunal does have the jurisdiction as the full Federal Court authority says the time limit is satisfied if the original decision was made in that time frame.”

On Friday morning, Tabcorp released a statement where it was detailed that all gambling regulatory authority approvals were obtained for the proposed combination: “Tabcorp has engaged with the various gambling regulatory authorities over the past ten months, in order to satisfy the requisite requirements and secure the relevant approvals in order to implement the Transaction. The necessary pre-implementation notifications have been provided and the probity assessments for the proposed combined group, as well as its subsidiaries, directors, officers and ‘associates’ have been completed.”

The statement added that obtaining the gambling regulatory authority approvals means that the condition precedent in a clause of the Merger Implementation Deed between Tabcorp and Tatts has been satisfied.

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