DraftKings, the US fantasy sports and betting provider, has decided to walk away from a potential takeover of Entain, the UK-based controlling company behind the Ladbrokes and Coral sportsbooks.
The firm had spent the last month preparing an offer of at least $20 billion but has now chosen to leave that proposal behind.
Jason Robins, chief executive officer at DraftKings, has now said: “After several discussions with Entain leadership, DraftKings has decided that it will not make a firm offer for Entain at this time.”
In response, Entain, which also counts the Bwin and PartyPoker brands in its portfolio, has said that it “strongly believes” in its future prospects and remaining as an independent company.
In response to the news, DraftKings shares jumped over seven per cent in New York, as opposed to Entain’s shares, which dropped 11 per cent on the London Stock Exchange.
DraftKings had first begun talks with Entain over a potential takeover in late September, before several issues – including around the composition of a joint board and antitrust clearances – led the provider to request a one-month extension, which would take the deadline up to 16 November.
However, despite that extension having been granted last week, DraftKings has now pulled away from the takeover altogether.
Earlier this year, Entain rejected an all-stock takeover offer from MGM Resorts – worth $11 billion – which it said undervalued its worth significantly.
As MGM and Entain have a joint venture sport betting partnership in the US, called BetMGM, MGM would have needed to approve any takeover deal. This could potentially have been one of the reasons DraftKings had to pull back in the end.
The total takeover price by DraftKings would have valued Entain at just over $22 billion.
Since it went public in April last year through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), DraftKings’ value has risen from $3.3 billion to just over $22 billion now.
The fantasy sports and betting firm has a strong relationship in place with multiple top-tier US sports teams and leagues, including with American football’s NFL, basketball’s NBA, ice hockey’s NHL, and baseball’s MLB.
Last month, the company reached an agreement to acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming in an all-stock deal worth $1.56 billion.
The GNOG deal was struck with Fertitta Entertainment, the parent company of the Golden Nugget hotels, the NBA’s Houston Rockets, and dining, hospitality, entertainment and gaming brand Landry’s.