Wednesday 22 September 2021 7:34 am

Entain caught between US rivals DraftKings and MGM as £18bn takeover looms

Ladbrokes owner Entain has confirmed a £18.4bn takeover bid by US betting giant Draftkings which puts the FTSE 100 company at the centre of a battle between its US partner MGM and its prospective buyer.

In a statement published yesterday, the board of Entain confirmed it had received a second takeover offer from Draftkings on 19 September after rejecting an earlier approach in which the betting company was offered £25 a share.

The new offer by Draftkings valued Entain shares at £28 a share, of which £6.30 would be made in cash and the rest in stocks, represented a premium of 46.2 per cent to Entain’s closing share price on Monday.

The UK betting company’s joint venture with casino giant MGM, in online sports betting in the US, could be at risk if the takeover bid by DraftKings is accepted.

The casino operator published a statement yesterday warning that, as Entain’s “exclusive” US partner, any transaction “would require MGM’s consent.”

MGM said in its statement: “having control of the BetMGM joint venture is an important step towards achieving its strategic objectives.”

The owner of British betting company Ladbrokes has rejected an £8bn takeover approach by US casino giant MGM.

Entain, which also owns betting and gambling brands such as Coral, Bwin and Partypoker, confirmed the offer this morning but said it “significantly undervalues the company and its prospects”.

Entain said its board will “carefully consider the proposal” and that an update on the possible deal would be made “as and when appropriate.”