MGM wants access to the owner of Ledbrooks

MGM Resorts International MGM 1.03%

British gaming company Antine ENT is seeking to buy -1.56%

PLC, according to people familiar with the matter, in a recent move by the casino operator to double the red-hot amb online-gambling business.

MGMA recently made an offer to buy the owner of the British gambling brand Ladbrokes, which has a market value of about 9 9 billion, people said. The offer, which will have a significant stock component, comes after hitting a previous nearly billion 10 billion all-cash over. The new bid comes with the financial backing of IAC / Interactive Corp, MGM’s largest shareholder..

IAC 1.00%

, People said.

People said the exact details and value of the new bid could not be learned, but it is above the current exchange rate of 85 12.85 – or 17.56 d above – which MGMA issued late last year. There is no guarantee that the antenna will be acceptable for the new offer fur or that there will be a deal.

The combination could make it one of the few major gaming companies in the world and with the presence of naline and brick-and-mortar. It will follow other recent integrations in the industry.

Like its peers, MGM is under pressure as the coronavirus epidemic has shut down its largest money-making casinos and hotels on the Las Vegas strip or underwent a sharp decline in capacity for most of the year.

The online gaming market, meanwhile, was booming before the epidemic gave it an extra boost. Which has encouraged casino planned operators like MGM to accelerate their businesses faster than planned, often through partnerships and acquisitions.

MGM currently derives a small portion of its revenue from revenue online betting, which casinos have long viewed as a threat but increasingly seen as an opportunity as people keep social distance at home and keep epidemic gamblers away from slot machines and blackjack tables. The trend towards online gambling is not expected to change anytime soon.

GDC in 2018 Antine, known as Holdings, is one of the UK’s largest gaming companies, having struck a રે 5 billion deal in 2018 that put Ladbrooks under its roof. Its shares rose when the epidemic only recently reached the stage of glineline gaming center. Las Vegas-based MGM has a market value of about 16 16 billion and is known for its casino properties, including Bellagio and Mirage.

Barry Dealer’s Internet consolidation IAC became MGM’s largest shareholder in August Gust, announcing a stake of about 12% which was then valued at about 1 1 billion. She said at the time she planned to work with the company to expand its online-gambling business. IAC Chairman Mr. Dealer and Chief Executive Joy Levine also joined MGM’s board.

Its other top shareholders, Corvex Management LP, also hold a meeting on the board convened by Keith Mister, founder of the activist hedge fund.

Caesar Entertainment Inc.

CZR 0.79%

UK-based William Hill recently struck a deal worth about 4 4 billion to buy WMH 0.30%

PGC, which already has a joint venture with MGM rivals. Caesar’s shareholders are excited about the deal, with its shares closing up about 25% of the year. The deal is set to close in March.

Investors, meanwhile, are entering companies with the potential to become major players in the emerging-online-gaming market, especially in the US, at the share price of Draftkings. Inc.

DKNG -4.88%

And Penn National Gaming Inc.,

Pen -0.83%

For example, in 2020 it increased by about 340% and 240%, respectively.

Draftkings were announced in April by a deal with a blank-check company and a simultaneous merger with a small gambling-technology provider. In early 2020, Penn National held a significant stake in a deal held close to Baristool Sports Inc., which gave the exclusive rights to use the media company’s brand in its sports-betting products.

Shares of MGM ended the year down about 0% while Antenna closed around 0%, possibly allowing for its potential as a takeover target.

MGM and Antine’s management teams have an existing relationship. Since 2018, they have become the sole partners at BatMMM, a small but growing-online-gaming company that has recently provided additional funding to both parties. BatMGM, which uses antenna technology and MGM licenses and brands, operates in more than 10 states, including Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana. It plans to have more than 20 by the end of this year.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected]

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