Sale abandoned, now the focus is on international markets
The government-owned Tote Tasmania will pursue international markets and launch a new international brand next year, the state Treasurer, Michael Aird told a Government Business Enterprise hearing this week, pointing out that Tote is a well organised and profitable business with strong cash flow generation that will continue to provide solid returns for the government.
Aird's comment herald a new plan for the organisation, which the government had earlier in the week taken off the 'for sale' block on grounds that the bids did not satisfy the government valuation of the asset.
“Tote Tasmania has identified the need to find new markets, increasingly offshore, and alternative forms of revenue, based around its core activity, betting," Aird said, adding that the organisation would continue to look to Asia and Europe to attract new customers, and has established relationships with a number of international operators to bring new product to its customers from Europe, Asia and North America.
“I expect Tote to announce some exciting initiatives in the New Year which will clearly demonstrate the internationalisation of the company," remarked. Among these will be a new international brand, along with an expanded business operation through acquisition and strategic alliances.
Aird revealed that investment in technologies necessary to deliver Tote's strategies and provide the platform to aggressively enter into new markets would be made. He envisioned some restructuring to focus on new business possibilities, and said that Tote would seek out skilled directors, both internationally and within Australia to 'refresh' the board of directors.
In November Aird announced that two bids for Tote Tasmania had been received, but that neither had been sufficient to meet the state's A$300 million valuation of the asset.
“I have therefore determined that the sale process for Tote Tasmania should be concluded," he said at the time, adding that the government does not intend to offer the business for sale again.
“Tote is a fast growing business and I want to assist it to go from strength to strength," Aird said, revealing that the business had grown 50 percent over the past 12 months, and had recorded an after tax profit of $6.5 million last financial year.