25 David Attenborough
MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO
POWER SCORE: 1,105
POSITION LAST YEAR: 28
CLAIMS TO FAME
28 years of industry experience in England, South Africa and Australia
Heads Australia’s biggest racing and wagering company
Already Australia’s largest racing and wagering company, Tabcorp has grown exponentially over the past 12 months following its AU$11 billion mega-merger with fellow industry giant Tatts.
That will come as a relief to Tabcorp boss David Attenborough following the trials and tribulations of 2017, which saw completion of the merger delayed by six months following legal intervention by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Finally given the green light last November, the newly combined gaming behemoth saw its revenue for FY18 soar by 72% to AU$3.8 billion, with EBITDA jumping 46% to AU$736 million and profit up 38% to AU$246.2 million.
Under its new structure Tabcorp now boasts three distinct gambling business units, led by Wagering and Media which contributes around 48% of revenue but now closely followed by the Lotteries/Keno segment at 46%. Gaming services chip in the remaining 6%.
That appears to be great news for investors with the Tabcorp/Tatts conglomerate now holding a virtual monopoly on parimutuel betting and controlling racing vision across the country through its Sky Racing network.
But there has been considerable angst between shareholders and the board in recent months, primarily in relation to proposed bonuses that were to be paid to management as a reward for getting the merger over the line. Rather than approve the payments, more than 40% of shareholders voted against it in October – a retaliation for an expensive Federal Court action brought by government agency AUSTRAC over anti-money laundering breaches as well as the company’s failed SunBets venture in the UK. Tabcorp paid partner News UK an AU$71 million exit fee in July, less than two years after joining forces.
It seems that complete dominance of the Australian wagering landscape isn’t enough to keep everyone happy.
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