Entain considering takeover offer after previously rejecting suitor

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Entain has said it rejected a smaller takeover approach from US company DraftKings before a second attempt was made on Sunday.

The Ladbrokes owner said it had not been interested in a 2,500p per share deal, which valued the company at less than £15 billion, but it will “carefully consider” the second approach from DraftKings.

On Tuesday Entain confirmed it had been approached by DraftKings after a report by US broadcaster CNBC.

However it did not confirm the price DraftKings was proposing or that it had already rejected a separate offer.

The new 2,800p deal would value Entain at more than £16 billion.

“The board of Entain will carefully consider the proposal and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate. Shareholders are urged to take no action at this time,” the company said.

“The board of Entain strongly believes in the future prospects of the company underpinned by its leading market positions, world class management team and industry-leading technology.

“The company has a strong track record of growth and runway for further significant growth… with the potential for its total addressable market to grow by more than three times to 160 billion dollars (£117 billion).”

Bosses said the firm could grow in the US where it holds a “leadership position” through Bet MGM – a joint venture with US casino operator MGM Resorts.

In January, MGM offered more than £8 billion to buy Entain, which was rejected by the board.

But MGM could be vital in deciding Entain’s future. On Tuesday the company said that because of its exclusive joint venture with Entain in the US, MGM would have a say in any deal which sees Entain expand further into the US.

“MGM’s priority is to ensure that BetMGM continues to capture the growing US online opportunity and realising MGM’s vision of becoming a premier global gaming entertainment company,” it said.

“MGM will engage with Entain and DraftKings, as appropriate, to find a solution to the exclusivity arrangements which meets all parties’ objectives.”

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