UPDATE: MGM Resorts International announced on January 19 that it will not be revising its offer to acquire Entain. Earlier on January 11, the company announced that CEO Shay Segev is leaving to become co-CEO of global sports streaming platform DAZN. He will stay with Entain for six months or until his successor is chosen, whichever is sooner.
Casino operator makes second bid
Global casino company MGM Resorts International has made a new $11bn offer for UK-based gambling operator Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings. The bid represents a value of $18.92 per Entain share, and a premium of 22% to Entain’s share price on the last trading day prior to the offer.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, this is the second bid MGM Resorts has made for Entain, following a recently rejected $10bn offer. MGM’s largest shareholder, IAC/InterActiveCorp, has financially backed the new bid. Under the terms of the combined shares and cash offer, Entain shareholders would own approximately 41.5% of the merged company.
$11bn bid “significantly undervalues the Company and its prospects.”
In response to media speculation surrounding the offer, Entain said the $11bn bid “significantly undervalues the Company and its prospects.” However, Entain did not reject the offer outright. Instead, the operator made a request for additional information regarding the strategy behind the merger.
After Entain released its response to the offer on Monday morning, company shares rose by 26.07% to $19.52 per share. Now, MGM has until 5pm on February 1 to signal its intention to make another bid.
What would a deal include?
Entain, known as GVC Holdings until recently, operates in both the retail and online gambling sectors. Perhaps most notably, the operator purchased Ladbrokes Coral for $5.24bn in 2018. If Entain eventually accepts a bid, MGM would adopt more than 30 gaming brands, including Ladbrokes, Partypoker, Bwin, SportingBet, Gala Bingo, and Eurobet.
Through acquiring Entain, MGM would also gain autonomy over online sports betting and gaming brand BetMGM. The joint venture between MGM and Entain has made significant headway in the US online gambling market since its creation in July 2018. At the time of Entain’s Q3 trading update, the brand held approximately 17% market share across its active states. Entain expects the brand’s full-year 2020 revenue to be in the range of $150m to $160m.
A new online strategy for MGM
2020 was a turbulent one for MGM Resorts. The coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of brick-and-mortar casino properties in March. Although MGM was able to reopen its properties throughout the year, the operator struggled to mitigate losses in the US and further afield. As a result, MGM’s consolidated net revenue fell by 66% year-on-year to $1.1bn for the last reported quarter.
As part of its strategy for limiting the impact of the pandemic, MGM increased its focus on the US sports betting and online gaming markets. In July 2020, the operator committed to a second round of investment in BetMGM, bringing its total funding to $450m and providing the company with $370m in investable capital.
US online progress will play a significant part in the operator’s long-term growth strategy
In MGM’s Q3 2020 trading update, CEO Bill Hornbuckle confirmed that US online progress will play a significant part in the operator’s long-term growth strategy. He also praised the progress of BetMGM, which he said had “gained significant momentum” throughout the year. Just last month, BetMGM launched both its online sportsbook and casino in Pennsylvania.