Casino equipment supplier and lottery services business Scientific Games Corp on Tuesday said it had acquired 11,600,000 ordinary shares in Canada-listed NYX Gaming Group Ltd. The latter is an online specialist in sports betting that Scientific Games had already targeted for a CAD775-million (US$628-million) takeover, a sum that includes paying off NYX Gaming’s outstanding debt.
Prior to the transaction flagged on Tuesday, Scientific Games did not own, directly or indirectly, any ordinary NYX Gaming shares, the suitor said. The latest transaction represented approximately 10.72 percent of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of NYX Gaming, stated Scientific Games. The shares were purchased via the Toronto Stock Exchange Venture Exchange at prices ranging from CAD2.22 to CAD2.35 per share, representing an aggregate purchase price of just under CAD$27.1 million.
Earlier on Tuesday, Scientific Games had announced an amendment to its September 20 offer for NYX Gaming, a proposal which had anticipated acquiring “at least 75 percent” of the target’s outstanding ordinary shares.
Scientific Games said that under the amendment, the suitor and target had “agreed that should the acquisition of NYX by Scientific Games not be approved by shareholders at the shareholder vote in December or not move forward for other specified reasons, Scientific Games will commence a contractual takeover offer to NYX shareholders.”
Gibraltar-registered entity William Hill Steeplechase Ltd had said in a November 8 statement that the U.K.-based betting group William Hill controlled certain ordinary shares of NYX Gaming and convertible preference shares in a NYX Gaming subsidiary that would in aggregate give William Hill 31.9 percent of the NYX Gaming group’s ordinary shares.
In its November 8 announcement, William Hill Steeplechase accused NYX Gaming of attempting to ”frustrate the contractual rights William Hill obtained when it enabled NYX to purchase OpenBet”.
NYX Gaming had acquired OpenBet – a sports betting brand – in May 2016 for a consideration of GBP270 million (US$357.8 million), according to a press release from OpenBet issued at the time.
NYX Gaming said in a November 10 press release it had filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court against the William Hill group, alleging anti-competitive behaviour by the latter, and an attempt to block the acquisition of NYX Gaming by Scientific Games.
(Updated 5.10pm, Nov 24)
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Japanese brokerage Nomura