Australia-based casino slot machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd says a meeting at which shareholders would be asked to vote on a takeover by Austrian gaming supplier Novomatic AG will only take place on June 17 at the earliest.
Ainsworth Game Technology announced last week it was postponing the meeting, initially scheduled for June 3. At the time, the firm stated that the date of the new meeting would be “no later than 30 days” after the original schedule.
Under a proposal announced in February, the privately held Novomatic would acquire 53 percent of Ainsworth Game Technology from Len Ainsworth, the Australian firm’s founder and chairman.
The delay in the meeting to vote on the deal centres on whether or not shareholding interests associated with the family of Mr Ainsworth might vote en bloc in favour of the deal – potentially to the detriment of other shareholders.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission – Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator – and an investment firm called Fortress Centaurus Global Master Fund Ltd have filed two separate applications to Australia’s Takeovers Panel for the body to look into the matter.
The panel is described as an independent, peer review body and was set up by the Australian federal government. It has the power “to declare circumstances unacceptable in relation to a takeover or the control of an Australian company or a listed managed investment scheme,” according to its website.
“The panel applications have progressed, however Ainsworth Game Technology does not anticipate an outcome prior to the scheduled time for the meeting convened for… June 3,” the gaming supplier stated in a Tuesday filing to the Australian Securities Exchange.
The document added: “As a result, Ainsworth Game Technology confirms that the general meeting will be adjourned until no earlier than Friday, June 17, 2016 pending further update from the panel.”
Novomatic AG has meanwhile stated that – if it completes the takeover of Ainsworth Game Technology – it will support the “immediate appointment” of an independent person to chair the latter’s board. Novomatic would also “ensure the board of directors of Ainsworth Game Technology continues to have a majority of independent directors”, according to a filing on Friday by Ainsworth Game Technology.
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”We do not believe that reopening the advance notice nomination deadline [for board directors] is appropriate or justified”
Daniel Boone Wayson
Chairman of the Wynn Resorts board of directors