Financial

Entain Shares Plunge as MGM Says it Won’t Make Another Takeover Offer

Entain Plc’s (OTC:GMVHY) US-listed shares are tumbling Tuesday. That’s after MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) said it won’t revise its acquisition proposal for the British bookmaker.

MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle, seen here. His company won’t make a higher offer for Entain. (Image: Bloomberg)

Earlier this month, the Mirage operator offered 0.6 shares for each share of its partner on the BetMGM business. That all- equity bid valued Entain at $11.06 billion, meaning the target’s investors would own 41.5 percent of the combined entity.

The UK firm swiftly rejected the overture, saying it undervalued the company. For the time being, MGM is walking away from the bargaining table. The company said it did not intend to submit a new proposal and will not make an offer for Entain, according to a statement.

Wall Street was supportive of the Mandalay Bay operator’s proposed acquisition, saying it would create a sports wagering and iGaming behemoth with a global scale. Still, MGM shares are higher by 3.10 percent in late morning trading, likely because with the deal scrapped, for now, current investors avoid being diluted in an all-equity transaction.

Conversely, Entain is reacting in the opposite fashion, trading lower by 10.32 percent at this writing.

MGM Could’ve Upped Bid

The Bellagio operator could have increased its offer for Entain, and rumors to that effect immediately swirled after the target rebuffed the initial proposal.

Reportedly, the Ladbrokes owner was seeking a cash component. MGM could have obliged because it has $5.9 billion in cash on hand and through credit revolvers. There was also talk about Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC), MGM’s largest investor, could double its stake in the gaming company to $2 billion to provide capital to get the Entain deal done.

Diller is said to be enthusiastic about online sports wagering and MGM’s internet businesses, but not its land-based casinos. The online outlets are allegedly the primary reason IAC bought $1 billion worth of the gaming firm’s equity last year.

Entain never revealed an exact or ballpark figure it was seeking from the suitor. But CNBC reported earlier today the target’s demands were beyond what MGM expected. That report also implied it’s possible the two parties resume takeover talks at a later date.

Rough Day for Entain

Entain’s Tuesday troubles aren’t confined to MGM scrapping its takeover offer. The British company has other mergers and acquisitions woes.

The firm is attempting to acquire Swedish gaming company Enlabs for $3.93 a share. But Alta Fox Capital Management, a Texas-based hedge fund that owns 3.34 percent of the target’s shares outstanding, says it and other investors won’t tender their stock.

“This offer materially undervalues the company, represents a negligible premium of 1.1 percent to the pre-offer trading price and has unusual circumstances that make us question why Enlabs’ Chairman, Niklas Braathen, accepted such an inadequate offer,” according to a statement issued by Alta Fox.

The hedge fund says it has the support of stakeholders representing over 10 percent of Enlab’s outstanding equity, and that it’s retained legal counsel to protect its interests in the matter.

All this after Shay Segev unexpectedly left his post as Entain chief executive officer just a week ago.

Todd Shriber

Todd Shriber is a senior news reporter covering gaming financials, casino business, stocks, and mergers and acquisitions for Casino.org. Todd got his start in financial markets as a reporter with Bloomberg News. Later, he became a trader at a Southern California-based long/short hedge fund, where he specialized in the trading sector and international ETFs leading up to and during the financial crisis. He joined Casino.org in 2019. Currently, Todd analyzes, researches, and writes on ETFs for various web-based publications and financial services firms. Shriber has been featured and quoted in Barron's, CNBC.com, and The Wall Street Journal. His work can also be found on Benzinga, ETF Daily News, ETF Trends, MarketWatch, Fox Business, and Nasdaq.com. He currently resides in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golf and taking his black lab to the dog park. He's also an avid sports fan and likes to wager on college football and the NBA. You can also find him at the three-card poker and roulette table, even though he knows better. Contact Todd at todd.shriber@casino.org.

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