Barry Diller bets $1 billion that MGM could be the next Disney
Barry Diller: IAC, the technology brand holding company controlled by Barry Diller, has bought 12% of MGM Resorts, one of the largest hotel and casino companies in the world with more than 30 projects – including the city’s landmark Bellagio Las Vegas. The investment is estimated at more than $1 billion.
Barry Diller: Though it looks like a typical old-economy company, Diller has been drawn to MGM’s digital strategy: Over the past several years, the company has invested heavily in technology to improve the guest experience. In addition, it is building the iGaming platform – BetMGM – which includes online casinos, lawn, betting and lotteries.
Barry Diller: “What initially attracted us to MGM, in addition to its leadership in entertainment, accommodation and casinos, was an area that still accounts for a small portion of revenue: online gaming and betting,” Diller said in a statement. According to the IAC, the betting market moves $450 billion worldwide, but the internet penetration rate is still under 10%.
Diller compared MGM to Disney: For him, both are emerging brands that consumers can experience every day in the physical world and online (a clear nod to Disney’s success in streaming, given that the company already has 100 million subscribers across its three brands): Disney+ , Hulu and ESPN. Plus).
Diller described the investment in MGM as a “decades-long opportunity” to partner with “a great brand in a great category with the potential to grow online at scale.” Diller was the founder of FOX and is one of the most profitable investors in the technology. IAC has already invested in Expedia and Match Group – which own Tinder.
Earlier this year, IAC left Match. The holding company also invests in popular US sites such as Investopedia and .dash. MGM shares rose as much as 22% after the announcement in New York; Now they’re up 13%. Despite the surge, MGM is still down nearly 40% for the year, reflecting the pandemic’s brutal impact on the housing sector.