“MGM Makes $11 Billion Offer for Ladbrokes Owner Entain - The Wall Street Journal” plus 1 more

“MGM Makes $11 Billion Offer for Ladbrokes Owner Entain - The Wall Street Journal” plus 1 more


MGM Makes $11 Billion Offer for Ladbrokes Owner Entain - The Wall Street Journal

Posted: 04 Jan 2021 12:05 AM PST

Sports betting at the MGM Grand Detroit casino in Michigan last March.

Photo: Paul Sancya/Associated Press

MGM Resorts International MGM -5.74% is seeking to buy British gaming company Entain ENT 25.28% PLC, in the latest move by a casino operator to double down on the red-hot online-gambling business.

Entain, which owns the British gambling brand Ladbrokes, said Monday that it has received an £8.09 billion takeover proposal, equivalent to $11.06 billion, but said that the offer significantly undervalues the company. MGM's bid has the financial backing from its largest shareholder, IAC/InterActiveCorp, IAC 2.72% according to people familiar with the matter, and comes after an earlier roughly $10 billion all-cash overture for Ladbrokes was rebuffed.

Latest Deals News

The Wall Street Journal first reported on MGM's takeover approaches on Sunday before Entain disclosed details in a regulatory filing.

A combination could create one of the few large gaming companies in the world with a significant online and bricks-and-mortar presence. It would follow other recent consolidation in the industry.

Like its peers, MGM has been under pressure as the coronavirus pandemic kept its biggest moneymakers—casinos and hotels on the Las Vegas Strip—closed or operating at sharply reduced capacity for much of the year.

The online-gaming market, meanwhile, already was booming before the pandemic gave it an additional boost. That has prompted casino operators like MGM to pivot their businesses even faster than planned, often through partnerships and acquisitions.

MGM currently derives a small portion of its revenue from online betting, which casinos long viewed as a threat but increasingly see as an opportunity as people socially distance at home and the pandemic keeps gamblers away from slot machines and blackjack tables. The trend toward online gambling isn't expected to reverse any time soon.

Entain, known as GVC Holdings until recently, is one of the U.K.'s largest gaming companies after it struck a roughly $5 billion deal that put Ladbrokes under its roof in 2018. Its shares rose recently as the pandemic brought online gaming center stage.

It said MGM indicated an offer of 0.6 MGM shares for each share held. Based on its closing price of 1,133.50 pence on Dec. 31, the indicated offer values each Entain share at 1,383 pence. MGM has also said that a limited partial cash alternative would also be available to accepting Entain shareholders.

It has also asked MGM to provide additional information in respect of the strategic rationale for a combination of the two companies.

Las Vegas-based MGM has a market value of about $16 billion and is best known for its casino properties that include the Bellagio and Mirage.

Barry Diller's internet conglomerate IAC became MGM's largest shareholder in August, disclosing a roughly 12% stake then valued at roughly $1 billion. It said at the time it planned to work with the company to expand its online-gambling business. Mr. Diller, IAC's chairman, and Chief Executive Joey Levin also joined MGM's board.

Another of its top shareholders, Corvex Management LP, also has a seat on the board held by the activist hedge fund's founder, Keith Meister.

Caesars Entertainment Inc. CZR -3.59% recently struck a roughly $4 billion deal to buy U.K.-based William Hill WMH -0.26% PLC, which already has a joint venture with the MGM rival. Caesars shareholders cheered the deal, with its shares ending the year up about 25%. The transaction is slated to close in March.

Investors, meanwhile, have been piling into companies with the potential to be major players in the growing online-gaming market, especially in the U.S. Share prices of DraftKings Inc. DKNG -3.65% and Penn National Gaming Inc., PENN -6.34% for example, soared almost 340% and 240% in 2020, respectively.

DraftKings went public in April through a transaction with a blank-check company and a merger with a small gambling-technology provider simultaneously. Penn National in early 2020 took a significant stake in closely held Barstool Sports Inc. in a deal that gave it exclusive rights to use the media company's brand in its sports-betting products.

MGM's shares ended the year down about 5% while Entain's closed up around 30%, possibly in a nod to its potential as a takeover target.

The management teams of MGM and Entain have existing ties. Since 2018, they have become exclusive partners on BetMGM, a small but growing online-gaming company both parties recently additionally funded. BetMGM, which uses Entain's technology and MGM's licenses and brands, is operating in more than 10 states, including Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana. It has plans to be in more than 20 by the end of this year.

Few American cities have been hit harder economically by the coronavirus lockdown than Las Vegas. WSJ visited the city's famous strip to learn about how Sin City is reopening its casinos. Photo: John Locher/AP (Originally Published June 4, 2020)

Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the January 4, 2021, print edition as 'MGM Seeks U.K. Betting Firm.'

Downtown’s Circa reveals stunning views of Las Vegas at Legacy Club - Eater Vegas

Posted: 23 Dec 2020 12:00 AM PST

Downtown's new Circa continues to reveal its new outlets with Legacy Club, the swanky lounge at the top of its 458-foot tower opening on December 28. The lounge features stunning views of Las Vegas along with fire pits to keep customers warm on the outdoor terrace.

Customers take a dedicated elevator to the 60th floor to reach the Legacy Club, an ode to many of Vegas' founding pioneers and icons. At the entrance, the lounge features 11 custom metal busts of Jackie Gaughan, best known for his ownership of the El Cortez; Benny Binion, who opened Binion's Horseshoe in Downtown Las Vegas; Jay Sarno, who founded Caesars Palace and Circus Circus; Kirk Kerkorian, who opened the International Hotel in 1969, the MGM Grand Hotel in 1973, and the MGM Grand in 1993; Sam Boyd, who invested in the Sahara, became general manager and partner at The Mint in Downtown Las Vegas, opened the California in 1975, and co-founded Boyd Gaming; Steve Wynn, who opened the Golden Nugget, the Mirage, Treasure Island, the Bellagio, and Wynn Las Vegas; William Bennett, who established Circus Circus Enterprises and owned the Sahara; Bob Stupak, who opened Bob Stupak's Vegas World; Frank Fertitta of Station Casinos fame; Barron Hilton, who ran the International and the Flamingo; and Howard Hughes, who owned the Dunes, the Sands, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark.

Another ode to the city's history inside the lounge showcases black-and-white photos portraying each of the legends, as well as Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Oscar Goodman. The lounge also features a display of 1,000 ounces of pure gold. A ticker atop the display of Circa-branded gold bars shows their combined value based on the current price of gold.

The Legacy Club Circa [Official Site]
The Legacy Club Circa [Official Site]

The 8,400-square-foot lounge features couches in the main lounge, fire pits and banquettes on the outdoor terrace, and stools at the centerpiece bar.

Customers can order Vegas twists on classic drinks, such as the Desert Sunset Martini, a spin on the breakfast martini, invented by Salvatore Calabrese. The typical orange marmalade has been replaced with a white peach puree. A Sunset Spritz, a riff on the Aperol Spritz, comes with Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen. The namesake Legacy Club cocktail, a variation on the Clover Club, uses Absolut Elyx and a prickly pear syrup. And the Nevadan is a Manhattan that uses Frey Ranch Rye, a rye whiskey distilled in Northern Nevada and aged for five years. .

The lounge offers a sunset package for $75 per person that includes outdoor fire pit seating for two to 12 people, two specialty cocktails, a Champagne toast at sunset, and views of the skyline. All Sunset Packages begin 30 minutes before sunset and can be booked online.

Legacy Club plans to be open Sunday through Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The Legacy Club
The main bar at the Legacy Club
Circa [Official Site]
The Legacy Club
The main bar at the Legacy Club
Circa [Official Site]
A posh lounge
The interior of the Legacy Club
Circa [Official Site]
The Legacy Club
The Legacy Club
Circa [Official Site]
The Legacy Club Circa [Official Site]

Everything to Know About Downtown's New Circa Resort, From Restaurants to Bars [ELV]

Every Restaurant and Bar That Opened in Las Vegas: 2020 Edition [ELV]

129 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

, , NV 89109

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