GTech SpA, an Italian commercial lottery operator and provider of gaming technology, announced on Wednesday a share repurchase programme for up to 9.5 percent of the company’s capital.
GTech is acquiring U.S.-based gaming supplier IGT for US$6.4 billion, comprised of US$4.7 billion in cash and stock, and the assumption of US$1.7 billion in net debt. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015.
The share buyback programme on the open market “is designed to ensure the regular trading of GTech shares in the event that anomalous movements occur due to excess volatility or lack of liquidity, pending the acquisition of IGT,” the Italian firm said in a statement.
GTech also announced that its board of directors has formally approved the cross-border merger of the firm into U.K.-based Georgia Worldwide Plc. The merger is part of the acquisition deal of IGT, which will also be merged into Georgia Worldwide.
Upon completion of these transactions, Georgia Worldwide will become the parent holding company for the combined operations of GTech and IGT, with its registered office in London. The group will have operating headquarters in Las Vegas and Providence, in the United Stares, and Rome, Italy. It will be listed in the New York Stock Exchange.
The name of Georgia Worldwide may change before the effective date of the merger, GTech noted.
Following the completion of the merger, current shareholders of IGT and GTech will hold approximately 20 percent and 80 percent of Georgia Worldwide, respectively. Italian family-owned private group De Agostini SpA, which now controls 59 percent of GTech, will have a 47-percent stake in the new entity.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau