* BetMakers makes A$4 bln proposal for Tabcorp's wagering
* Bid higher than offers by Entain and Apollo
* BetMakers shares tank as much as 17%
May 28 (Reuters) - Australia's BetMakers Technology Group
Ltd on Friday intensified a three-way bidding war for
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd's wagering and media business,
offering A$4 billion ($3.1 billion) for the struggling division.
The BetMakers proposal dwarfs separate A$3.5 billion offers
by British sports betting firm Entain and U.S.-based
investment manager Apollo Management for the Tabcorp
unit hit hard by the halt to sporting events and closure of
betting shops due to the pandemic.
Tabcorp shares gained as much as 4.2% and scaled a near
3-1/2 year peak. BetMakers, though, slumped nearly 17% on news
of the proposal, that will involve A$3 billion in shares and A$1
billion in cash, likely to be funded by debt.
BetMakers, which has market value of close to A$1.3 billion,
white-labels platforms and widgets for other firms.
"The market is saying that they (Betmakers) are trying to
bite off more than they can chew," said Brad Smoling, managing
director at Smoling Stockbroking.
Credit Suisse, which values the unit at roughly the same as
BetMaker's proposal, said Tabcorp was more likely to demerge the
division than accept the approach.
Doing so would avoid numerous, costly regulatory approvals
that would be required in a deal with Betmakers, it added.
Tabcorp said it would assess the BetMakers' offer in the
context of a wider review announced in March that included the
possibility of a demerger.
Entain and Apollo did not immediately respond to Reuters
requests for comment.
In April, Entain had sweetened its earlier bid for the
wagering and media business, and just over a week later Apollo
revised its own offer to match.
Apollo also made an alternative offer of A$4 billion for
Tabcorp's gaming services unit alongside the wagering and media
($1 = 1.2917 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Harish Sridharan and Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru;
Editing by Stephen Coates)