Penn Entertainment shares surge 10% on takeover bid

Finance News

U.S. casino operator Boyd Gaming has approached Penn Entertainment to express interest in acquiring its peer that has a market value of more than $9 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Penn’s shares jumped 8% on Thursday afternoon in New York to $19.89 after Reuters reported Boyd’s approach. Boyd’s stock fell 3% to $51.90.

A deal would be the biggest merger among U.S. gambling companies since Eldorado Resorts’ $17.3 billion acquisition of Caesars Entertainment in 2020.

It would be challenging since Boyd, the smaller company with a market value including debt of $7.8 billion, would need financial firepower to clinch a deal. The companies would also need the blessing of regulators and officials in several states where they both operate.

Boyd would also need to win over Walt Disney, which through its sports network ESPN has a partnership with Penn.

The sources said there was no certainty Penn will engage in negotiations with Boyd. They asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.