A potential sale of International Game Technology (IGT) could help the company’s shares rebound after falling 31 percent this year through June 6. Analysts say IGT’s reported search for a buyer is prudent and it shows the company’s board is looking to consider alternative paths giving the competitive dynamics in the marketplace.
Reuters reported on Monday that the gaming supplier has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to explore a possible sale after attracting interest from other gaming suppliers and some private equity firms. The company said earlier this year that it was facing a challenging time.
“IGT has clearly been struggling over the part few years,” facing challenges in executing an effective business strategy, Steve Gallaway, partner at Global Market Advisors LLC, told GGRAsia.
“They have a great infrastructure and relationships, however, whereas they were the 900-pound gorilla for decades, they no longer are,” said Mr Gallaway. “The board likely recognises this and feels that the exploration of a sale is appropriate.”
IGT shares jumped on Monday on the report that the company is considering putting itself up for sale.
Citigroup Inc’s Michael Goltsman said the investment bank view the possible move as being sensible given the company’s valuation discount to peers and its history. In a note, it said that IGT’s slot division have faced headwinds from sluggish industry growth and competition.
But Citigroup sees potential for significant market share growth due to IGT’s deep content library, which it calls a key competitive advantage.
Credit Suisse also said a sale could be an easier exit for IGT’s board instead of a more “arduous turnaround”.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China