MGM approaches business partner Entain with £8bn takeover proposal

MGM approaches business partner Entain with £8bn takeover proposal

On 4 January 2021, FTSE 100 betting and gambling company Entain confirmed it was in receipt of a merger proposal by US hospitality and entertainment giant MGM Resorts International.

The most recent proposal offers Entain shareholders 0.6 MGM shares per Entain share, valuing the company at £8.09 bn. This represents a 22% premium on Entain’s share price as of 31 December 2020, being the last business day prior to the announcement. MGM also stated a limited cash alternative would be made available. The board of Entain responded that the offer ‘significantly undervalues the company and its prospects’ and have requested further information regarding the strategic rationale behind the combination.

The news saw Entain’s share price rise over 25%, closing at £14.20 the day the offer was announced.

The possible offer comes after MGM’s rival, Caesars Entertainment, agreed to a £2.9 bn offer for FTSE 250 bookmaker, William Hill (see Caesars looking to conquer US Sports betting market). Similarly to the Caesars/William Hill deal, Entain and MGM are already partners, having agreed to a joint venture to launch the BetMGM sports betting and online gambling app in 2018. The joint venture was agreed the same year that the US saw laws surrounding gambling begin to relax, while the UK contrastingly saw further restrictions put into place.

Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings, has grown exponentially in recent years following a series of acquisitions, including of Ladbrokes Coral Group in 2017. This growth appears set to continue as the global sports betting and gaming company also announced a £250 m recommended cash offer for Baltic gaming company Enlab on 7 January 2021.

MGM has until 11 February 2021 to confirm whether it will be making an offer for Entain. Market Tracker will continue to monitor this transaction as it develops. 

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