The Ladbrokes and Coral owner’s rejection of MGM’s offer is a rare example of long-termism by a UK board
Aren’t Las Vegas casinos meant to be tough operators who don’t take no for an answer? It turns out that MGM Resorts doesn’t fit the caricature. Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, rejected MGM’s £8bn takeover offer a fortnight ago and blunt refusal has done the job. The US firm has walked away, muttering about “discipline” in bidding, which is usually shorthand for not being able to afford what you want.
This turn of events is surprising, but not wildly so. Entain’s hand in this negotiation – or non-negotiation – was always decent. For starters, the board had the backing of its major shareholders in rejecting MGM’s all-share offer. There was even macho talk among investors about the US firm being a 20th century land-based Luddite desperately seeking Entain’s whizzy online gambling technology.