Light & Wonder closes transaction to secure full SciPlay ownership

Acquisition concept
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Light & Wonder has finalised the purchase of the remaining 17 per cent interest in SciPlay that it did not previously own in an approximately $500m definitive agreement that was initially detailed in August.

The purchase price of $22.95 per share in an all-cash transaction represents an increase from May’s $20 offer, which accounted for an enterprise value of $2.1bn.

SciPlay will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Light & Wonder, with the company’s common stock to no longer be publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Among the numerous plus points previously stressed by L&W as a result of the transaction are maintaining momentum of the company’s cross-platform strategy, flexibility for use of SciPlay cash flows for investments, and the facilitation of long-term margin enhancement opportunities via synergies.

The group is not averse to making manoeuvres within the M&A arena, with previous purchases in recent memory including the likes of slot developer’s Lightning Box, ELK Studios and Playzido, as well as live casino supplier Authentic Gaming and loyalty solutions provider House Advantage.

The business also offloaded its lottery division for $5bn to Brookfield Business Partners, with sports betting services provider OpenBet purchased by Endeavour in an $800m deal.

In August, Matt Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Light & Wonder, stressed that second quarter financial improvements were validation of these investments, in addition to “the significant progress” made towards long-term targets.

Following the acquisition becoming final, he commented: “Fully integrating SciPlay with Light & Wonder creates a more streamlined organisation with the financial strength to accelerate our cross-platform strategy and deliver enhanced shareholder returns.

“SciPlay continues to achieve record-setting results and market outperformance, and we are confident that together we will build on their considerable momentum. 

“As one company, we will drive improved collaboration between our talented teams to build and deploy the most engaging games across our digital and land-based platforms and create a more seamless, best-in-class player experience.”

During Q2, SciPlay reached another quarterly record with revenue of $190m, an increase of 19 per cent from $160m, while AEBITDA increased 44 per cent to $59m (2022: $41m).