by Renee Israel
Sportingbet, the London-listed online sportsbook has announced its
acquisition of Australian firm Centrebet International Limited has been
finalised after almost four months of negotiations.
Sportingbet, which already operates in Australia under a license from the
Northern Territory, has revealed that the US$183 million purchase has pushed
them to the top, making them the country's largest online sportsbook.
Andrew McIver, CEO for Sportingbet said, "We are delighted to have completed
the acquisition of Centrebet, which means we are now the leading bookmaker in
Australia, a fast growing and regulated market."
"This transaction highlights Sportingbet's strategy of increasing its
proportion of revenue generated from regulated markets and of geographic
diversification," he continued.
Sportingbet Centrebet Talks Began In Spring
Sportingbet and Centrebet began to discuss the possible takeover in Spring,
and almost four months later the finalised agreement will see the Sydney-based
Centrebet implement a set of schemes and deals with shareholders and performance
rights holders. The schemes were approved by shareholders and performance rights
holders in August 2011 and the implementation of the schemes result in Centrebet
being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sportingbet.
Centrebet, in accordance with Listing Rule 3.16.1 has announced the
resignation of their directors - Graham Kelly, Con Kafataris, Michael McRitchie,
Max Donnelly and George Kafataris - and company secretary, Mal Lucas-Smith. New
directors - Michael Sullivan, Anthony Waller, Jim Wilkinson and Andrew McIver -
and a new company secretary - Lawrence Chatres - have been appointed. McRitchie,
who resigned as director, will continue on as Managing Director of Centrebet,
according to terms and conditions in his employment contract.
Shares in Centrebet have been suspended from quotation on the Australian
securities Exchange. There is an application pending that will see Centrebet
permanently removed from the list.
Centrebet Shareholders Paid $2 Premium
Cash consideration will see Centrebet shareholders paid at a $2
premium and other considerations may see shareholders better off. GST litigation
rights claims and other considerations are still awaiting settlement and it is
possible that these settlements will see shareholders better off. Security
holders are expected to receive a litigation claims right, as well as a
litigation claim unit. They will be expected to get 90 percent of the net
proceeds of the GST litigation claim.