28 David Attenborough
MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO
CLAIMS TO FAME
• 27 years of industry experience in England, South Africa and Australia
• Heads Australia’s biggest racing and wagering company
POWER SCORE 908 LAST YEAR 31
As if looking after Australia’s racing and wagering giant Tabcorp wasn’t enough, Managing Director and CEO David Attenborough has spent much of 2017 overseeing a proposed AU$11 billion merger with fellow gaming conglomerate Tatts Group. And it has been far from smooth sailing.
Originally announced in October 2016, the deal took an unexpected twist early this year when Tabcorp revealed it would sidestep the usual regulatory review process with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and seek direct approval from the Australian Competition Tribunal instead. The Tribunal promptly obliged but was immediately called into question by the ACCC which successfully applied to the Federal Court for a judicial review.
As a result, in mid-September the Federal Court ruled against approval of the merger and referred it back to the Tribunal for further consideration. It wasn’t until late November – when the Tribunal again ruled the merger should go ahead – that the official green light was given.
The merger is a huge deal for the Australian racing industry and most importantly for Tabcorp. The new conglomerate will hold a virtual monopoly on para mutual betting and control racing vision across the country through its Sky Racing network, with the goal being a national tote and larger betting pools similar to Hong Kong and Japan.
Mergers aside, it has been business as usual for Attenborough with Tabcorp booking a 5.7% revenue increase in the latest quarter to AU$579 million on the back of its core TAB wagering segment. The company is also making strides in the digital segment, where turnover grew 17% to AU$1.13 billion.
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