FILE PHOTO: Barry Diller, Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia, Inc., attends the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
January 8, 2021
(Reuters) – Billionaire Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp, the largest shareholder in MGM Resorts International, supports the casino operator’s $11 billion takeover approach for Ladbrokes owner Entain Plc, the U.S. company said on Friday.
MGM said a proposed merger with the British bookmaker would be “compelling” and believes a deal, amongst other things, would help grow BetMGM, its online sportsbetting operating in the United States.
Online betting firms have benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic-led lockdowns, as customers took to playing from home when casinos and betting shops were off limits.
Entain, however, rejected the takeover advance earlier this week, saying it significantly undervalued the company and asked MGM for more information on the strategic rationale for a merger.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Entain offered to buy smaller rival, Swedish sports betting firm Enlabs AB for about $343 million.
Shares of London-listed Entain were marginally down 0.1% at 1465 pence on Friday at 0339GMT.
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)