Gambling giant DraftKings bids for rival Entain

Gambling giant DraftKings bids for rival Entain

US gambling giant DraftKings has made an offer to buy Entain, the British rival announced Tuesday, in a deal reportedly worth nearly £17 billion ($23 billion, 20 billion euros).

Entain’s statement that it “has received a proposal from DraftKings” would mark further consolidation of the industry.

The Financial Times reported that the cash and stocks deal was worth £16.6 billion, above Entain’s market value of about £13.2 billion.

It comes after Entain in January rejected a takeover approach from US casino giant MGM worth £8.0 billion.

Entain owns Britain’s betting-shop chains Ladbrokes and Coral, as well as various online gambling websites.

The British group’s share price soared 18 percent on news of the fresh takeover approach that was made shortly before the close of London trading.

“The fact there are so few details available, not even an offer price, means talks are at an early stage and there can be no certainty whatsoever that a firm offer will eventually be forthcoming,” said Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

The announcement comes after gambling group 888 earlier in the month agreed to buy the non-US operations of rival William Hill in a deal aimed at creating a leading online betting group.

US group Caesars Entertainment agreed to the sale in a deal worth £2.2 billion.

Caesars had bought all of William Hill, which has more than 1,400 betting shops in the UK, for around £3.0 billion last year but said at the time that it was interested in holding onto only the US part of the business. (AFP)

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