Casino equipment and online games provider Scientific Games Corp has announced that it has withdrawn its previously announced all-stock offer to acquire the remaining 19-percent equity interest in digital gaming company SciPlay Corp that it does not currently own.
Scientific Games said it “will retain its 81 percent economic interest and 98 percent voting interest in SciPlay,” according to a Wednesday statement.
In July, Scientific Games offered to merge with SciPlay in a transaction that would have resulted in SciPlay shareholders, other than the suitor, receiving 0.25 shares of Scientific Games’ stock for each share of SciPlay stock.
The statement quoted Barry Cottle, president and chief executive of Scientific Games, as saying: “In line with our approach to capital management and disciplined merger and acquisition, we have decided that continuing to pursue this opportunity would not be prudent for our shareholders at this time.”
Mr Cottle said SciPlay was a “strategic asset”, with the “opportunity to drive meaningful value as it grows its social casino market share and expands into the US$20-billion casual genre leveraging its expertise in engagement and monetisation.”
“We will continue to invest in this sector in a disciplined manner,” he stated, adding that the group “will continue to take a holistic approach to capital management.”
The CEO also said that the company remained committed to reducing its leverage and investing in becoming the leading global game company with distribution across a variety of platforms.
In Wednesday’s statement, Scientific games said the sale of its lottery and sports betting businesses was “on track to close in the second quarter of 2022.”
Scientific Games announced in October the sale of its lottery business to Brookfield Business Partners LP, for a total consideration of US$6.05 billion. In September, the group also divested its sports betting business – including its OpenBet sports betting platform – for US$1 billion in cash and US$200 million in stock from Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, a sports and entertainment firm.
“These proceeds will enable Scientific Games to drive improved shareholder returns through significantly de-levering its balance sheet, investing in the core business and targeting accretive digital mergers and acquisitions to accelerate its growth strategies,” said the firm in its latest statement.
Scientific Games announced in November the acquisition of Malta-based Authentic Gaming Ltd, a provider of live casino products for the iGaming space. The acquisition marked Scientific Games’ first foray into the live casino market.
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