GVC Holdings shares climb following MGM Resorts International deal

Shares in online casino and sportsbook operator, GVC Holdings, reportedly hit a record high earlier today on the back of news that the Manx firm had inked a joint venture agreement with American casino giant, MGM Resorts International.

Rise followed joint venture announcement:

According to a report from the Reuters news service, the pair detailed this morning that they each intend to invest at least $100 million to establish a joint enterprise that is to offer a broad range of land-based and online sportsbetting services to some 90 million punters across 15 American states. The agreement is to also see the brace integrate their customer loyalty programs and run the new business from a headquarters located in the United States.

Value swells by 7.5% before subsiding:

GVC Holdings is already responsible for the Ladbrokes and Coral iGaming brands via its ownership of British operator, Ladbrokes Coral Group, with Reuters reporting that today’s news saw the value of its shares swell by 7.5% in trading to an all-time high of 1,178 pence before this price retreated slightly to an around 5% boost.

Greg Johnson from London-headquartered brokerage firm, Shore Capital Group Limited, told Reuters that GVC Holdings ‘appears to have struck gold’ by agreeing to establish a joint venture with MGM Resorts International, which he called ‘arguably the biggest gambling brand in the United States’ with a portfolio of over 25 properties.

Possible merger on the cards:

The news service reported that GVC Holdings has been looking to expand its presence into the American sportsbettting market ever since a May ruling from the United States Supreme Court invalidated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The London-listed firm spent $1.5 billion to acquire Gibraltar-based riv 7BALL al Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which is responsible for the Bwin and PartyPoker brands, last August while the latest deal could purportedly lead to an eventual merger with MGM Resorts International.

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Deal represents ‘a truly exciting opportunity’:

In officially announcing the new joint venture, Jim Murren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International, described GVC Holdings as ‘the largest and most dynamic global online betting operator with existing reputable and trusted operations in the United States.’

For his part, Kenneth Alexander, Chief Executive Officer for GVC Holdings, detailed that ‘the highest quality brands and management’ along with the ‘strong sports connectivity’ of MGM Resorts International is to be combined with his firm’s own ‘technology and experience in successfully building online gaming businesses across multiple markets’ and will present American players and both partners’ shareholders with ‘a truly exciting opportunity.’

Alexander’s statement read…

“To be able to team up with a partner with such pedigree and knowledge, particularly in the United States, is a real opportunity for GVC [Holdings].”