Australia-based slot machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd said in a filing on Monday that its shareholders had that day approved the sale of 52.2 percent of company founder Len Ainsworth’s shares, to Austrian gaming firm Novomatic AG.
Danny Gladstone, Ainsworth Game’s chief executive, said in a statement contained in the filing: “While the process has been protracted, this is an important and exciting point in Ainsworth Game Technology’s development.”
After the proposal to sell a majority stake to Novomatic was announced in February, 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 filed 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.
The completion of the share sale voted for on Monday is “subject to a range of regulatory and gaming licence approvals”, stated Ainsworth Game’s filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Mr Gladstone said: “Novomatic is a highly respected and impressive industry leader. We look forward to progressing this relationship with a view to delivering the significant expected benefits that have been outlined and execute on our international growth strategy”.
Under the deal, Novomatic is slated to provide “significant game development and other intellectual property” to Ainsworth Game and jointly to work on a global distribution and marketing strategy, said the Australian firm at the time of the initial announcement.
Harald Neumann, CEO of Novomatic, was quoted as saying in Monday’s filing to the ASX: “Through Novomatic’s majority shareholding, Ainsworth Game will benefit from collaboration across a range of markets that will be substantially positive for long term shareholder wealth creation. We value the trust and support by the minority shareholders through the positive vote of approving the share transaction and will make every effort to meet their expectations.”
The current board and executive management teams of Ainsworth Game is expected to stay in place with Novomatic planning to nominate additional directors, according to previous filings.
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