Casino equipment and online games provider Scientific Games Corp has announced plans to divest itself of its lottery and sports betting businesses, as part of a company-wide strategic review. The U.S.-listed firm stated the move aimed to establish a “path to significantly de-lever and position the company for enhanced growth”.
Scientific Games is “evaluating strategic alternatives to execute… divestitures” regarding its lottery and sports betting businesses, the company said in a press release on Tuesday. Options included an initial public offering or a combination with a special purpose acquisition company, or a sale or a strategic combination with another business, Scientific Games stated.
Barry Cottle, president and chief executive of Scientific Games, was quoted in the release as saying the decision to divest the lottery and sports betting businesses reflected “key steps” to “optimise” the firm’s portfolio. It would also “strengthen”Scientific Games’ balance sheet by “significantly de-levering” the firm.
The executive added: “At the conclusion of this process, the new company will consist of leading gaming, iGaming and SciPlay businesses, all of which have great momentum and will collectively deliver great value. We will capitalise on the increasing convergence of these businesses, as players look to play their favorite games wherever and whenever they want to play.”
Mr Cottle said that Scientific Games was targeting its digital businesses to be comparable in size to the land-based gaming business “within three years”.
Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc and Oakvale Capital LLP have been announced as serving as financial advisors for Scientific Games for the divestment process. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is serving as legal counsel to Scientific Games, the gaming supplier stated.
Commenting on Scientific Games’ announcement, Deutsche Bank group analysts Carlo Santarelli and Steven Pizzella said should the firm succeed in its efforts, the divestment exercise would leave it with “essentially” three areas of business. “These business lines, in aggregate, generated roughly US$1.0 billion of 2019 adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation,” they added.
Scientific Games saw its first-quarter aggregate revenue rise by 0.6 percent year-on-year, to US$729 million, despite a decline in the gaming segment, said the firm in May. The gaming supplier stated at the time its net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to US$15 million in the first three months of 2021, from US$159 million a year ago.
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