Updated from 8:24 a.m. EDT

The boards of

MGM Mirage



Mandalay Resort Group


today will consider MGM's takeover bid for its smaller rival, with industry analysts widely predicting approval.

The swift board room consideration follows MGM's sweetened, $71-a-share offer Monday.

In a statement Monday, MGM said management will recommend that its board approve the deal, but Mandalay was more cautious, saying "neither Mandalay nor its management has entered into any agreement on this matter. There can be no assurances that a definitive agreement will be reached."

MGM's sweetened offer also appeared to allay Mandalay's concerns about the time needed to close the deal. Mandalay last Friday rejected MGM's original $68-a-share bid as being too risky to its shareholders because its suitor wanted up to 15 months to close the transaction, with a penalty of just $100 million if the deal didn't close.

Mandalay shares rose 43 cents, or 0.6%, to $68.03 Tuesday, after falling Monday. Recently, MGM Mirage's were up 61 cents, or 1.3%, to $48.81.

Under the terms of its revised offer, MGM Mirage's bid includes a total equity value of approximately $4.8 billion, $600 million in convertible debentures, and assumption of approximately $2.5 billion in Mandalay debt currently outstanding.

By and large, Wall Street analysts predict the deal -- which would create the industry's largest player -- will be approved by the respective boards. MGM's board is reportedly meeting this morning, while Mandalay's will assemble later today.

But while the combination of the third- and fourth-largest gaming companies would create the gaming sector's biggest player, one with control of nearly 50% of the hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip, it is likely to trigger antitrust concerns from regulators.