Australia’s Tabcorp plans to split business-paper

Sydney (Reuters) – Australian gaming group Tabcorp Holdings Ltd is considering a split of its casino and gaming operations, the Australian Financial Review said in an unsourced report on Wednesday.

The plan envisages housing Tabcorp’s casino operations in a separate entity to enhance their takeover appeal to rival casino owners such as Crown Ltd, it said.

The senior management of Tabcorp, along with its advisers UBS, presented the split plan at a board meeting last month, the paper said.

A decision was delayed due to turmoil in global financial markets, but the plan was likely to be put before the board again in early 2009, provided market conditions improve, the report added.

The plan follows a decision by the Victorian state government earlier this year to strip Tabcorp and its rival, Tatts Group Ltd, of their duopoly in gaming machines from 2012. The decision could slash future earnings by up to 40 percent.