MGM Resorts International “
The $ 11 billion tender offer would create a new powerhouse for online gambling and “significantly undervalue” the company and its prospects.
The UK sports betting group’s shares rose 29% in London trading on Monday, while MGM shares fell 4% after opening in New York.
The backstory. MGM’s offering to Entain takes place amid a multitude of activities to capitalize on the fast growing and highly lucrative US sports betting market. The practice, legalized by a Supreme Court ruling in 2018, is now operational in 18 states with more expected to follow this year.
Entain is a FTSE 100 ingredient that until recently was known as GVC Holdings. In 2018 the company bought Ladbrokes, a famous bookmaker giant whose roots go back to horse racing in 1886. Entain also owns online gambling outfits Bwin and Partypoker.
MGM – known for hotels and casinos in Las Vegas such as Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand – is already a partner of Entain in a joint venture. It’s called Roar Digital and owns the online gambling center BetMGM, which started in 2018 with an investment of $ 200 million and grew to $ 450 million in the summer of 2020.
What’s new Entain released a statement Monday confirming that the company had received and rejected a takeover bid from MGM for £ 8.09 billion (US $ 11.03 billion). The proposal, which followed an initial $ 10 billion proposal, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday evening.
The stock offer, which Entain said MGM said could include a “limited partial cash payment” to shareholders, was a 22% markup on Entain’s share price at the close of trading on December 31. It would have given Entain shareholders 41.5% of the shares in the combined company.
The Entain bids are subject to the City of London’s Takeover Code, which gives MGM the opportunity until February 1 to announce its intention to make a formal bid for Entain or not.
“Entain has informed MGMRI that it believes the proposal significantly undervalues the company and its prospects,” the UK group said in a statement.
Looking ahead. A merger between MGM and Entain would make the combined company a strong opponent for Caesars as well as newer digital competitors like
MGM’s offering to Entain follows a similar pattern to MGM’s
Proposed takeover of
announced in September pending regulatory approvals. The two Las Vegas groups both sought partnerships with veteran British bookmakers to control the growing US sports game market and then wanted to take them over.
However, Entain says $ 11 billion is not enough. It may be correct, but MGM could take their lucrative partnership with Roar Digital hostage in a takeover battle – a strategy Caesars is pursuing in its acquisition of William Hill.
And if the acquisition is successful, the future of Entain’s European business could be in the air as MGM focuses on the US market. This would follow with Caesars intending to sell William Hill’s operations outside of the US.