Entain Becomes The Latest Target Amid Betting Boom
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalize sports betting in 2018, investors and companies have rushed to capitalize on the opportunity.
DraftKings, which was one of the hottest stocks last year after going public via a merger with a SPAC in April, has been inking exclusive partnerships with everyone from individual sports franchises to networks such as ESPN. DraftKings Chief Business Officer Ezra Kucharz said "regulated betting is quickly becoming a fixture of modern sports entertainment" when discussing the company's recent partnership announcement with Turner Sports.
In September, Caesars Entertainment announced it agreed to acquire British bookmaker William Hill for approximately £2.9 billion in a bid to capitalize on the U.S. betting market.
"The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect," Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg said.
Amid the continued interest in betting, Entain has become the latest British bookmaker to become a target of a U.S. casino operator as MGM Resorts approached the company with an $11 billion takeover offer. Entain, which is MGM Resorts' partner in the U.S. market, said the offer "significantly undervalues the Company and its prospects."
The proposed deal represents a 22% premium to Entain's closing share price from 12/31 and would give Entain shareholders a 41.5% stake in MGM Resorts. Shares of Entain surged nearly 30% on the news to a new all-time high as MGM Resorts also reportedly offered $10 billion previously, which was declined by Entain.
"The Board has also asked MGMRI to provide additional information in respect of the strategic rationale for a combination of the two companies," Entain said in a statement. "A further announcement will be made as appropriate. In the meantime, Entain shareholders are encouraged to take no action."
Entain also said that MGM Resorts indicated a limited partial cash alternative would be made available to the company's shareholders. Under UK takeover laws, MGM Resorts now has until February 1 to make a firm offer.
Given the enthusiasm over the prospects of betting in the U.S., it won't be surprising to see MGM Resorts come back to Entain with a higher offer to expand its presence in the quickly-growing market.
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Disruptive health venture calls it quits. Haven, which is a joint venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to disrupt the health care industry, will shut down by the end of next month after three years in operation. Haven's 57 employees are expected to be placed at one of the three companies once it folds. "Moving forward, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will leverage these insights and continue to collaborate informally to design programs tailored to address the specific needs of our individual employee populations and locations," Haven spokesperson Brooke Thurston said.
Apple reportedly working on foldable iPhone. Apple is reportedly testing a foldable iPhone that has already passed durability tests at a factory run by its main supplier Foxconn in China. Apple is testing two different foldable casings but its not known if Apple prefers one version over the other. Apple filed a patent on December 31 that is titled "Folding Electronic Devices With Geared Hinges."
Teledyne agrees to acquire FLIR Systems. Teledyne has entered into an agreement to acquire thermal imaging company FLIR Systems for $8 billion in cash and stock. FLIR shareholders will receive $28.00 per share in cash and 0.0718 shares of Teledyne for each FLIR share, representing a deal price of $56.00, or a 40% premium to FLIR's 30-day volume weighted average price as of December 31. "Together, we will offer a uniquely complementary end-to-end portfolio of sensory technologies for all key domains and applications across a well-balanced, global customer base," FLIR president and CEO Jim Cannon said.
Carl Icahn trims Herbalife stake. Herbalife Nutrition has agreed to repurchase $600 million of its common stock from Carl Icahn, representing more than half of his stake in the company. "I believed the Company was in need of an activist and that certainly turned out to be correct," Icahn said. "Yet, the time for activism has passed as the Company has grown, and I don't typically invest billions of dollars in companies where our role as activist is not needed."
Chipotle launches cauliflower rice. Chipotle announced cauliflower rice, which is compliant with keto, Whole30, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian diets, will be available for a limited time at U.S. and Canadian restaurants. Chipotle also introduced four new variations of its Lifestyle Bowls using the rice as a central ingredient. "Chipotle fans have been craving more plant-powered, better-for-you options that align with the latest health trends and emphasize the benefits of real food," Chipotle chief marketing officer Chris Brandt said. "That's why we are thrilled to offer Cauliflower Rice nationally and help our fans achieve their diet or lifestyle goals."