As more US states look into legalising gambling, Entain is the latest British gambling business to be targeted by an American rival (after 888 Group’s announcement of purchasing William Hill in September).
Harry Barnick, Senior Analyst at Third Bridge (research firm providing market intelligence for investors) commented on the offer: “DraftKings has made a USD 20B offer to acquire Entain. The offer almost doubles the bid made by MGM Resorts earlier this year, which was rejected by shareholders. DraftKings' audacious bid indicates its willingness to go head-to-head with Flutter-owned FanDuel.”
A statement from Entain said: “The board of Entain confirms that it has received a proposal from DraftKings to acquire Entain, the consideration for which would include a combination of DraftKings stock and cash.”
While the statement did not disclose the price of the approach and added there was no certainty a deal would be done, Entain’s shares surged by almost a fifth on the news of the offer from the US sports betting firm.
Entain, which owns a host of online betting brands (including Bwin, Sportingbet and PartyPoker) and over 3,300 street bookmakers, had previously rejected a takeover offer of £8.1bn ($11bn) made by MGM Resorts in January.
Barnick added: “As shareholders mull over the deal, three key questions remain. What will happen to the MGM Resorts partnership under DraftKings' ownership? Could we see a counter offer lead to a bidding war? Then with the wave of consolidation we are seeing in the market, including 888’s recent acquisition of William Hill’s international assets, investors’ will simply be wondering: which company could be targeted next?”