Tasmania Gives Up on Tote Sale3rd December 2009 9:30 am GMT
Eleven months into a sale process intended to increase funding to the Tasmanian racing industry and to ensure its long-term sustainability, the Tasmanian government has abandoned plans to sell Tote Tasmania after failing to receive a single binding offer that met the government's requirements for the betting operator.
Tasmania Treasurer Michael Aird announced the conclusion of the sale process for Tote Tasmania earlier today.
"The Government has undertaken an exhaustive sale process for Tote Tasmania and has received strong interest in the business," said Mr Aird. "However, the Government did not receive any final binding offers that were acceptable. I have therefore determined that the sale process for Tote Tasmania should be concluded."
Aird said the Tasmanian government does not intend to offer the business for sale again, maintaining that the divestment of the state-owned betting operator was not a fire sale, nor a response to the global recession.
"While there continues to be strong interest in the business, current market conditions have prevented the presentation of offers that satisfy the Government or the community's interests," said Aird.
"I have said many times the sale of Tote would only proceed if it provides the best return for the Tasmanian community. Earlier this year there was a unique window of opportunity to divest the business. Unfortunately, that window has since closed."
Australia's Tabcorp and Tatts Group both lodged expressions of interest for the estimated AUD$400 million business before deciding not to lodge a final and binding bid. Other expected bids from Ladbrokes and Betfair also failed to materialise.
Mr Aird said that Tote would continue to consolidate its strong financial performance and look to capture its future growth potential with a number of exciting developments planned for the future.
"Tote is a fast growing business and I want to assist it go from strength to strength. The business has grown 50% over the past 12 months, with the business recording an after tax profit of $6.5 million last financial year."
Mr Aird said that there would be no impact on the Budget as a result of today's decision, despite an estimated $3 million spent on the sale process.