DraftKings Floats $22.4B Bid for Entain After Prior Offer Rejected

Posted on: September 21, 2021, 10:48h. 

Last updated on: September 21, 2021, 11:18h.

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) is wooing Entain Plc (OTC:GMVHY) with a $22.4 billion takeover offer after the Ladbrokes owner turned back a previous bid.

DraftKings Entain
Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen runs a coveted company. DraftKings is floating a $22.4 billion takeover bid. (Image: CNBC)

The Boston-based daily fantasy sports (DFS) and online sports wagering company rocked the gaming industry today, offering $20 billion for Entain, sending the Coral owner’s US-listed shares higher by 30.8 percent. Late Tuesday, Entain confirmed it received one offer from DraftKings, which it rejected, and that the suitor subsequently made another cash and stock proposal.

The board of Entain confirms that following an earlier approach from DraftKings at 2,500 pence per share, which was rejected, a further proposal was received on 19 September 2021,” according to an Entain statement. “Under the terms of DraftKings’ latest proposal, DraftKings would offer 2,800 pence per Entain share consisting of 630 pence in cash and the balance payable in new DraftKings Class A common shares.”

The latest pitch from DraftKings values Entain at 46.2 percent to its Sept. 20 closing price.

DraftKings Big Game Hunting

Should DraftKings make the aforementioned $22.4 billion bid an official offer, that price point represents nearly $1.3 billion more than its closing market capitalization.

The upped bid for Entain confirms DraftKings is hunting for whales in the sports betting space and that it’s not afraid to use its equity as currency. Last month, the gaming operator announced it’s buying Tilman Fertitta’s Golden Nugget Online Gaming (NASDAQ:GNOG) for $1.56 billion in stock — a deal many analysts and investors saw as a tipping point for more iGaming and sports betting consolidation.

With Entain, DraftKings is targeting the half owner of BetMGM — a direct competitor. BetMGM controls 21 percent of the US online sports betting market while DraftKings has 17 percent market share, according to RBC Capital Markets. Assuming, DraftKings is successful in acquiring Entain, the combined company would be a more viable number two to FanDuel, which, by some estimates, has 45 percent to 50 percent of the US regulated sports betting market.

DraftKings may have other motivations in making a run at Entain. In a note to clients Tuesday, Susquehanna analysts said the suitor may be looking for a major deal in advance of regulators possibly lumping online gaming in with land-based casinos, meaning they could potentially take exert more scrutiny on mergers and acquisitions.

Susquehanna added that while the courtship of Entain is painful for DraftKings over the near-term, it’s “likely a huge win over the long-term.”

MGM Will Have a Say

MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) owns the other half of BetMGM and the casino behemoth made clear Tuesday that if Entain enters into an agreement with another US company, that qualifies as a competing business and it requires MGM approval.

MGM has made no secret of its desire to have full control of BetMGM and there’s been plenty of speculation that the casino operator would return to the bargaining table with another takeover offer for Entain after the target rejected an $11.06 billion all-stock bid in January.

However, DraftKings is kicking things up several notches. Not only is its $22.4 billion proposal more than double what MGM offered in January, it includes a cash component. MGM’s initial bid didn’t include cash and the Mirage operator didn’t publicly make another pitch featuring cash despite it being widely known Entain was seeking less equity and more cash.

Under UK takeover law, DraftKings has until Oct. 19 to make a formal offer.