DraftKings walks away from £16bn move for UK betting giant Entain

Last week, the US firm was given an extended deadline to either place a formal offer or walk away from the deal.

Henry Saker-Clark
Tuesday 26 October 2021 16:48
DraftKings has walked away from its takeover proposal for Coral and Ladbrokes owner Entain (Matt Alexander/PA)
DraftKings has walked away from its takeover proposal for Coral and Ladbrokes owner Entain (Matt Alexander/PA)

US betting firm DraftKings has walked away from its £16 billion approach for Ladbrokes owner Entain.

Last week, the US firm was given an extended deadline to either place a formal offer or walk away from a move for the UK firm, which also owns Coral.

The two companies confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Draftkings “does not intend to make an offer” after several discussions between bosses at the firms.

Jason Robins, DraftKings chief executive, said: “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.”

Last month, DraftKings made an approach worth around 2,800p per share in cash and stock after a 2,500p offer had been rebuffed.

It is the second time a US firm had approached Entain over the past year, after US joint venture partner MGM saw a £8 billion move rebuffed.

UK betting firms have been heavily targeted by US rivals over the past year amid a rapid growth in sports betting across the US due to relaxing federal laws across many states.

Entain said its management is “focused on executing its growth and sustainability strategy” and on delivering the opportunities laid out in latest strategy update in August.

“The board strongly believes in the future prospects of Entain, underpinned by its leading market positions, world class management team and industry-leading proprietary technology”, the company added.

Shares in Entain were 6.3% lower.

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