Salem Radio Network News Saturday, October 23, 2021

Business

DraftKings courts UK’s Entain as U.S. sports betting spurs deals

(Reuters) -U.S. fantasy sports betting company DraftKings has approached UK-listed Entain with a potential offer to buy the British gambling firm in a deal that one media report said could be valued at $20 billion.

Entain’s shares closed up 18% as the companies confirmed the approach, which would give the U.S. firm access to the Ladbrokes Poker and bwin online betting brands. Shares of DraftKings fell more than 5%.

DraftKings has proposed roughly 2,500 pence per share, according to CNBC’s David Faber, representing a premium of about 30% as of Entain’s Monday close. The deal will be largely in DraftKings stock along with a cash component, Faber added. (https://bit.ly/3hOgEBx)

The takeover proposal came after Entain had rejected an $11 billion offer from U.S.-based MGM Resorts International in January, saying it undervalued the company, but analysts expect MGM to return with a new bid as it has since accumulated more cash.

Entain and MGM already have a joint venture called BetMGM, an online sportsbook for betting on NFL and NBA games that controls about 21% of the market versus DraftKings’ 17%, according to RBC Capital Markets.

Any deal in which Entain would own a competing business in the United States would require MGM’s consent, MGM said on Tuesday in response to DraftKings’ approach.

The deal frenzy in the online gambling space comes at a time when regional operators are looking to expand and capture opportunities in states across the United States opening up to sports betting.

In a transatlantic deal, Caesars Entertainment acquired Britain’s William Hill, a traditional rival to Entain’s Ladbrokes brand, in a 2.9 billion pound transaction earlier this year. Caesars is selling the non-U.S. assets of William Hill.

Demand for online betting boomed during the pandemic as customers took to playing from home when casinos and betting shops were off-limits.

DraftKings, which allows users to enter daily and weekly fantasy sports-related contests, confirmed it had approached Entain but did not provide any additional details. It bought rival Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc in a $1.56 billion all-stock deal last month.

Entain said DraftKings has until Oct. 19 to make a firm offer for the company.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru, Krystal Hu in New York; Additional reporting by Yadarisa Shabong; Editing by Ramakrishnan M., Sriraj Kalluvila and Steve Orlofsky)

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