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US – MGM Resorts welcomes IAC as a billion dollar investor

By - 10 August 2020

MGM Resorts International has welcomed the announcement that IAC/InterActiveCorp, the media and technology company founded and led by renowned business leader Barry Diller, has made a significant investment in MGM Resorts International.

He has reportedly spent more than $1bn to buy 59m shares in MGM Resorts, giving him a 12 per cent share in the operator, who has casinos in Las Vegas, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Michigan, and New Jersey.

“We could not be more excited to welcome IAC and Mr. Diller as an investor in MGM Resorts. Mr. Diller and Joey Levin, CEO of IAC, bring vast experience in both entertainment and online commerce and we will take full advantage of their experience,” said Paul Salem, MGM Resorts Chairman of the Board of Directors. “IAC’s family of brands and digital expertise are a great complement to the direction MGM Resorts has been taking both in leveraging our digital assets to enhance our guests’ experience and building a leading iGaming and sports betting business in BetMGM. We welcome IAC as a long-term strategic partner and intend to invite them to join our Board of Directors.”

Data-driven, digital and customer-centric innovations are a key principle of the MGM 2020 plan announced last year and MGM Resorts’ executive leadership is excited that IAC recognizes the tremendous value creation potential.

“IAC’s expertise in growing and expanding brands online is a natural fit for our focus on enhancing the resort experience through curated and personalised offerings, as well as digital enhancements in sports betting and online gaming,” said CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle. “We appreciate that they share our long-term strategic vision for growth and maximising value for our shareholders. We welcome their collaboration and are excited at the possibilities it will bring.”

Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli said: “While unusual for IAC to acquire equity in the public markets, the IAC team believes it is taking a meaningful stake in an early stage online movement with a prominent brand within gaming. IAC referred to the investment in MGM as ‘a once in a decade’ opportunity. Management of IAC, and presumably MGM and its board, believes IAC’s history of driving the conversion of off-line, and in this case, brick and mortar, to online, will be value-creating for the partnership. IAC is clearly, and stated as much in its investor letter, taking a long term view of the online opportunity within gaming.”

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