A fresh proposal
UK-based gambling group Entain has rejected an initial takeover proposal from DraftKings and has confirmed that it has received a fresh approach worth $22.4bn from the operator. Entain made a follow-up statement on the matter late on Tuesday. Reports initially surfaced on early Tuesday afternoon about an offer totaling $20bn from DraftKings, which equates to £25 ($34.08) per share.
represents a 46.2% premium on Entain’s closing share price on Monday
DraftKings has reportedly increased its offer to £28 ($38.17) per share, bringing the sum to $22.4bn. Of the offer price, £6.30 ($8.59) would be in the form of cash, with the remaining £21.70 ($29.58) per share coming in the form of new DraftKings Class A common shares. The £28 ($38.17) per share offer made on September 19 represents a 46.2% premium on Entain’s closing share price on Monday.
Entain’s share price has shot up since reports about the takeover approach went public. It closed up 17% on Tuesday following reports of the initial offer. By lunchtime on Wednesday, the price was up over 7.6% for the day. DraftKings’ share price closed down 7.42% on Tuesday.
Considering the latest offer
The Entain board is now carefully considering this latest proposal from DraftKings. Entain has asked shareholders to take no action right now and plans to make a further announcement when it is appropriate to do so. Any official offer for Entain will fall under the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers. As per the code, DraftKings needs to announce a firm intention to make a proposal to buy Entain by October 19 or announce that it does not plan to make an offer.
Entain is confident in its position as one of the biggest online gambling operators in the world. In its follow-up statement on Tuesday, the gambling group reaffirmed its long-term plans to shareholders. It stated: “The board of Entain strongly believes in the future prospects of the company underpinned by its leading market positions, world-class management team and industry-leading technology.”
A flurry of acquisition interest
In January, Entain rejected an $11bn takeover offer from MGM Resorts International. The board believed that this bid significantly undervalued the company. Entain and MGM Resorts are already joint partners in the BetMGM online gambling brand.
There are reports from market analysts that MGM Resorts might be considering a fresh offer for Entain. MGM Resorts released a statement on Tuesday in response to the news of the initial DraftKings offer, saying how any deal involving Entain’s US assets would need its consent.
With the US online gambling space growing rapidly, many major operators are looking at acquisition opportunities. Last year, Caesars Entertainment successfully acquired UK-based William Hill in a deal worth £2.9bn ($3.96bn). Last week, Caesars revealed that it will be selling the non-US assets of William Hill to 888 Holdings for about £2.2bn ($3bn). In August, DraftKings announced that it is acquiring Golden Nugget Online Gaming for $1.56bn from Fertitta Entertainment.