Shareholders approve Tatts-Tabcorp merger

Business News

The $11.3 billion merger of gaming giants Tatts and Tabcorp has been approved by shareholders.

Almost 99 per cent of votes cast by Tatts shareholders at a meeting on Tuesday were in favour of Tabcorp acquiring all of the issued shares in Tatts.

Approval of the scheme is now required from the Supreme Court of Victoria, with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

If the deal gets the go ahead, Tatts shares will cease trading on the share market at the close of trade on Wednesday, and new Tabcorp shares will begin trading on a deferred settlement basis on Thursday.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting prior to the merger vote, Tatts chief executive Robbie Cooke said the uncertainty of the merger had not affected the company’s trading momentum.

The proposal was announced in October 2016, but approval from the Australian Competition Tribunal was appealed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, before the tribunal again gave the green light in November 2017.

Mr Cooke told shareholders that net profit from continuing operations in the first five months of the financial year was up nearly 18 per cent, and revenue up 6.1 per cent.

Tabcorp on Tuesday finalised the sale of its Queensland gaming business Odyssey to Australian Nationals Hotel, which was required as a condition of the merger.