MGM Resorts International MGM 1.03%
British gaming company ENT is seeking to buy ENT -1.56%
PLC, according to people familiar with the case, in the latest move by a casino operator to double up on the red-hot online-gambling business.
MGM recently proposed to buy the owner of British gambling brand Ladbrex, which has a market value of around $ 9 billion. The proposal, which has a substantial stock component, comes after the first, with the nearly $ 10 billion all-cash overture rejoined. The new bid comes with financial support from MGM’s largest shareholder, IAC / InterActiveCorp.
The exact details and price of the new bid could not be learned, but it is up from £ 12.85 – or $ 17.56 at current exchange rates – a portion which MGM introduced late last year, people said. There is no guarantee that the new offer will be receptive to or will be a deal.
A combination could create a significant online and brick-and-mortar presence among some of the world’s largest gaming companies. This will follow other recent consolidations in the industry.
Like its peers, MGM has been under pressure since the coronovirus epidemic kept or closed its largest moneymakers — the casinos and hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.
The online-gaming market, meanwhile, was already booming before the epidemic, giving it an extra boost. This has prompted casino operators like MGM to expand their businesses faster than planned, often through partnerships and acquisitions.
MGM currently derives a small portion of its revenue from online betting, which casinos have long seen as a threat, but increasingly as an opportunity to socially distance people at home Watches and epidemics keep gamblers away from slot machines and blackjack tables. The trend towards online gambling is not expected to reverse anytime soon.
Known as GVC Holdings, one of the UK’s largest gaming companies until recently, it received a nearly $ 5 billion deal under its roof in 2018, which gave Ladrobrex a standing ovation. Its shares recently brought a gaming center stage. Las Vegas-based MGM has a market value of approximately $ 16 billion and is best known for its casino properties that include Bellagio and Mirage.
Barry Diller’s Internet group IAC became MGM’s largest shareholder in August, revealing a nearly 12% stake, valued at about $ 1 billion. It said that at the time it planned to work with the company, it expanded its online gambling business. Mr. Deller, IAC President and Chief Executive Officer Joy Levine also joined the board of MGM.
One of its top shareholders, Corvex Management LP, also has a seat on the board held by activist hedge fund founder Keith Mister.
Kaiser Entertainment Inc.
Recently a $ 4 billion deal to buy UK-based William Hill WMH 0.30%
PLC, which already has a joint venture with MGM rival. The shareholders of Kaiser celebrated the deal, with its shares ending the year at around 25%. The transaction has closed in March.
Meanwhile, investors have been credited with companies likely to be major players in the online gaming market, especially DraftKings share prices in the US Inc.
And Penn National Gaming Inc.
For example, in 2020 grew by about 340% and 240%.
DraftKings went public in April with a transaction with a blank-check company and a merger with a small gambling-technology provider. In early 2020 Penn National gave Barstool Sports Inc. a significant stake in a deal that gave the media company brand exclusive rights to use the media company’s brand in its products.
MGM shares closed the year at around 5%, while Enten closed around 30%, presumably for its potential as a takeover target.
MGM and Entain’s management teams have existing relationships. Since 2018, they have become an exclusive partner on BetMGM, a small but growing online-gaming company that both parties have recently funded. BetamMM, which uses Enten’s technology and MGM’s licenses and brands, is operating in more than 10 states, including Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana. It is planned to be over 20 by the end of this year.
Write Cara Lombardo at [email protected]
Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8