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Last Updated: Monday, 7 June, 2004, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
MGM Mirage is on road to Mandalay
Mandalay Bay hotel
Mandalay's massive flagship hotel has 1,117 suites
Shares in US hotels and gaming group Mandalay Resort surged nearly 20% on Monday after MGM Mirage tabled a $4.85bn (2.65bn) cash takeover offer.

Mandalay owns and operates 11 casinos in Nevada and hires out about 15,000 rooms on the Strip in Las Vegas.

A merger with MGM Mirage, whose empire stretches as far as Australia, would create the largest gaming operator in the world.

Mandalay said it would "carefully evaluate" the offer from MGM Mirage.

If MGM and Mandalay do tie the knot, their combined empire would dominate a two-mile stretch of the Strip, all the way from the Mandalay Bay casino to NewYork-New York.

Strip control

The company would control a third of all the hotels on the Strip and about 50% of the area's 72,000 hotel rooms.

This new leisure juggernaut would trump both Caesars Entertainment and Harrah's Entertainment in revenues.

MGM and Mandalay already jointly own a casino, the Monte Carlo, which is also on the Strip.

Mandalay Resort Group's flagship property is the towering gold glass Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Terry Lanni, chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage said: "The combination of these two great companies would provide Mandalay shareholders with a premium price for the shares as well as providing several strategic benefits to shareholders in MGM Mirage."

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