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DraftKings Pulls $22.4B Entain Offer

  • DraftKings has ended its acquisition talks with Entain after making an initial bid of $22.4 billion for the company.
  • Entain would have given DraftKings a strong international foothold.
DraftKings/Design: Alex Brooks

A major potential merger in sports gambling and gaming has been called off: DraftKings announced on Tuesday “that it will not make a firm offer for Entain at this time.”

The sports betting giant made a $22.4 billion bid for Entain on Sept. 19, representing a 43% premium on the British gambling company’s stock price. That opened a negotiating period of 28 days for DraftKings to finalize the offer, which Entain extended to Nov. 16 with permission from regulators.

Entain would have given Boston-based DraftKings license to operate in 27 countries, a suite of retail gambling outlets in the U.K., and a gambling operations technology platform.

“We are highly confident in our ability to maintain a leadership position and achieve our long-term growth plans in the rapidly growing North America market,” said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins.

  • MGM Resorts, which co-owns BetMGM with Entain, complicated the negotiations. The resorts and gambling company said that any deal between DraftKings and Entain would require its approval.
  • MGM bid $11 billion for Entain in January, which Entain rejected as being too low.

Traders liked DraftKings’ decision: Its stock price jumped 6.9% from close of market Monday to mid-morning Tuesday, before partially giving back those gains. Entain dropped around 6.4%.