MGM Eventually Could Rebid for Entain

By | October 17, 2022

Entain Plc’s (OTC:GMVHY) recently revealed third-quarter results were in-line with analysts’ expectations, but the eye catching detail in that report is growth at the BetMGM unit, which some experts believe could compel MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) to eventually revisit a takeover bid for the British gaming company.

MGM Entain
MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. Operator MGM could make a run at buying Entain. (Image: YouTube)

In its third-quarter trading report, Entain noted net gaming revenue (NGR) growth at BetMGM was a stellar 90%, surging to $400 million. Additionally, the online sportsbook operator is maintain approximately 23% market share in the marquee states in which it does business, including the ultra-competitive New York market.

Earlier this year, BetMGM, which is controlled on a 50/50 basis by the casino operator and Entain, revealed it’s the largest internet casino company in the US and the second-largest online sportsbook firm. Within the investment community, it’s widely believe those are among the reasons why MGM could, in the future, make another offer for Entain.

RoundHill Investments co-founder Will Hershey recently described BetMGM as a “crown jewel” for MGM, noting it’s possible the casino giant will eventually make another run at Entain. He didn’t mention a specific timeframe for such a move and acknowledged the current market environment isn’t conducive to large-scale mergers and acquisitions.

MGM/Entain Marriage Not Impossible, But Difficult

In January 2021, the Las Vegas-based casino operator bid $11.06 billion for Entain. But the British bookmaker said the offer wasn’t adequate. MGM didn’t publicly up its offer, and the talks ultimately fell apart.

Here’s part of the problem for MGM or any other prospective suitor for Entian: Later in 2021, DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) offered north of $22 billion for the Ladbrokes owner. The target didn’t accept that proposal, either, but that could be the new floor to get the Coral owner to the bargaining table. That means the pool of potential buyers is tiny.

Should it bid anew for Entain, MGM has the advantages of the US dollar being strong against the British pound and the possibility that Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IAC) — MGM’s biggest shareholder — could provide some financing for the deal.

However, more capital is likely needed and lenders might not want to extend massive amounts of credit to gaming companies amid a rough macroeconomic backdrop. Additionally, Entain’s been on a buying spree of its own, adding bulk that could ward off interested suitors.

World Cup Look Ahead

Roundhill’s Hershey noted the World Cup could provide a boost to European sportsbook operators, including Entain. Owing to Qatar being the host nation, the storied football competition runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.

The event is usually played in the summer at a time when the US sports calendar is slow, but this year, the World Cup will be competing with college football, the NFL, the NBA and college basketball, indicating it could be a nice assist but not a needle mover for BetMGM and other domestic sportsbook operators.

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