Scientific Games to Divest Lottery, Sports Betting Businesses
Scientific Games Corp., a global leader in gaming, announced Tuesday its intent to divest itself of certain portions of its business and pursue a strategy to “accelerate (its) path to become a content-led growth company focused on leading in both land-based and digital markets.”
The portions of the business that Las Vegas-based Scientific Games (“SGMS” on the NASDAQ) discussed divesting in its announcement are its lottery and sports betting businesses. Possible routes of divestitures for each business, respectively, included an initial public offering (IPO), or a combination with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), or a sale or a strategic combination with another business.
At the end of the day, Scientific Games said it hopes to strengthen its balance sheet by significantly de-levering and to target investment in its largest growth opportunities. The decision has the support of the company’s board of directors, including Executive Chair Jamie Odell and Executive Vice Chair Toni Korsanos.
The publicly traded company, which provides gambling services and products worldwide, has been trading at or near recent-history highs in the high-70s range and was up about 2% in late morning trading Tuesday.
"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,” Scientific Games President and CEO Barry Cottle said in a news release. “We will capitalize on the increasing convergence of these businesses, as players look to play their favorite games wherever and whenever they want to play. As the leading cross-platform global game company, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the incredible industry transition that is underway.
”Given this significant opportunity, we are targeting our digital businesses to be comparable in size to the land-based gaming business within three years. I'm confident that, with these steps, we are well positioned for future growth prospects."
Looking Toward the Future
Streamlining the company for future opportunity has been a strategic goal, said Odell, the executive board chair.
"When I joined the Board in September 2020, I told stakeholders that we were focused on rapidly de-leveraging the balance sheet, unlocking the value of the company's products and technologies and creating a flexible, nimble company positioned to deliver above-market returns to investors,” Odell said in the release. “Today, we have announced major initiatives aimed at achieving each of these key objectives, recognizing significant value in each of the businesses and positioning the company for sustainable growth, all as a result of the dedicated work of our teams."
Scientific Games lists among its partners and clients a cavalcade of familiar names in bricks-and-mortar and digital gaming, among them Caesars Casino, Wynn Resorts, FanDuel Casino, BetMGM Casino, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock Digital, and others.
“Our company will be positioned to build great games that define the future of gaming, supported by platforms that power the best operators in the world,” CEO Cottle said. “We believe these steps will enable us to capitalize on the high growth potential of each of our businesses, including their expanding digital content offerings and platforms, unlocking value for shareholders, customers, and employees. Each of our businesses will be better positioned to partner with their respective customers and to deliver long-term growth and profitability."
In its announcement Scientific Games added that there were no assurances that its exploration of alternatives for its lottery and sports betting businesses will result in any transactions or other actions by the company. It also does not intend to comment on or provide updates regarding these matters unless and until it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required based on the then-current facts and circumstances.
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