Entain extends deadline for DraftKings to make firm offer

Entains wants more details from DraftKings.
Entains wants more details from DraftKings.

The UK FTSE 100 gaming giant has had its request for an extension approved.

UK.- The London Stock Exchange’s Panel on Takeovers and Mergers has approved Entain’s request for an extension on the deadline for DraftKings to table a firm offer following the US operator’s £16.40bn takeover proposal. DraftKings now has until November 16 to follow up its proposal.

DraftKings made a 2,800-pence-per-share offer for Entain last month after an initial 2,500-pence-per-share bid was rejected. Under UK rules, it had until today (19 October) to follow up the offer, but the deadline can be extended by the receiving companies board if it gains approval from the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

Entain says several issues need to be resolved before its board can adopt a position on DraftKings’ offer. It says needs more clarity is needed on value creation for Entain shareholders and on the potential impact for BetMGM, its joint venture with US land-based casino operator MGM Resorts.

MGM Resorts saw its own bid for Entain rejected in January and has said it will fight for control of BetMGM. Entain wants details from DraftKings on the governance rights and value protection for its stake in the business. It’s also seeking details on how an acquisition would pass anti-trust hurdles. 

Entain’s board said: “Entain has an outstanding track record of growth having delivered 23 consecutive quarters of double-digit online NGR growth, and a three-year CAGR of 19 per cent across 2021.

“Entain’s management remains focused on executing its growth and sustainability strategy and on delivering the opportunities laid out in Entain’s capital markets event on 12 August to treble its total addressable market to c.$160bn.”

DraftKings said it would carry out more due diligence and analysis on its potential offer.

It said: “DraftKings further notes that while it progresses its discussions with Entain, it also continues to remain very focused on opportunities in the high growth North America market.”

Entain completes Unikrn acquisition

Meanwhile, Entain has completed its own acquisition of assets from esports betting operator Unikrn, including its technology, products, platform and branding. It said the deal, the value of which has not been revealed, will allow it to launch new esports products next year. It said Unikrn’s staff of 50 would remain in the company.

Unikrn’s products include U-Mode, which allows gamers to bet on their ranked matches, and Streamer Bet for updating odds on Twitch streams.

New director of esports Justin Dellario said: “Entain is all about creating exciting and innovative products for our customers. With Unikrn, we’ll now be able to offer competitive gamers and esports fans alike rewarding experiences surrounding the games and events they love.”

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