MGM Resorts International officially ends pursuit of Entain acquisition

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MGM Resorts International’s pursuit of Entain plc came to an abrupt end this week, with the former revealing that it will not submit a revised offer for the sports betting and gaming group formerly known as GVC Holdings.

Early January saw MGM’s $11bn offer rebutted by Entain which cited it at the time as significantly undervaluing the company and its prospects.  

In a statement confirming the end of the chase, MGM said that after careful consideration and having reflected on the limited recent engagement between the respective companies regarding the rejected all stock proposal at an exchange ratio of 0.6x, it does not intend to submit a revised proposal and it will not make a firm offer for Entain plc.

It added in the missive: “MGM is committed to being a premier global omni-channel gaming and entertainment company, and will maintain a disciplined framework while evaluating a range of compelling strategic opportunities.”

MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle explained: “BetMGM, our US sports betting and online gaming venture with Entain, remains a key priority for the company as we continue to leverage our preeminent physical gaming, entertainment, and hospitality platform to expand digitally.

“We believe that BetMGM has established itself as a top three leader in its markets and we remain committed to working with Entain to ensure its strong momentum continues as it expects to be operational in 20 states by the end of 2021.”

Acquiring Entain – the owner of brands including Coral, PartyPoker and Sportingbet – would have given MGM Resorts a wider online sports betting presence. It would also have enabled the casino firm to keep pace with Caesars Entertainment, which is set to acquire William Hill plc, and Flutter Entertainment which is increasing its stake in FanDuel and has already formalized a deal with the Stars Group. 

Entain offered a brief rejoinder to MGM’s announcement today, saying: “The Board of Entain plc notes the announcement made earlier today by MGM Resorts International that it does not intend to make an offer for Entain. As a result of the announcement, MGMRI and its concert parties are bound by the restrictions contained in Rule 2.8 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers.

“Entain has a clear growth and sustainability strategy, backed by leading technology, that it is confident will deliver significant value for stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to work closely with MGMRI to drive further success in the US through the BetMGM joint venture.”