In Australia, online gaming and wagering provider CentreBet International Limited will reconsider its cash bid for rival International All Sports (IAS) Limited following a ruling from the Takeovers Panel.
The second largest private bookmaker in Australia, CentreBet had requested that the Panel make a declaration of unacceptable circumstances over impediments to its bid, which is reportedly worth $11.8 million and would create an online sports and race wagering company with nearly 125,000 direct customers.
CentreBet had petitioned the Panel to release it from standstill and confidentiality undertakings that were put into place after it was provided with confidential information about IAS for the purpose of acquiring the business in April. It declined to go ahead with a bid at that time and IAS subsequently took itself off the market.
CentreBet told the Panel that the undertakings were ‘beyond what is necessary’ to protect IAS and ‘frustrate the making of a genuine takeover’. However, the Panel disagreed and argued that standstill agreements are ‘useful’ in enabling price-sensitive information to be given to other potential acquirers.
The Panel stated that the standstill period could be negotiated to this November, which would be twelve months after the date CentreBet withdrew from the asset sale process.
'We are very disappointed with the outcome,' said Graham Kelly, Chairman for CentreBet.
'We were simply seeking to ensure that IAS's shareholders were given the opportunity to consider for themselves what we think is a compelling offer and, if necessary, negotiate with the independent directors of IAS a final offer price and other terms that would secure their support.'