Scientific Games has announced that its largest shareholder, Ronald Perelman, has reached an agreement to sell a 34.9% stake in the global gaming giant to a number of long-term institutional investors, led by Australian fund manager Caledonia (Private) Investments, in a deal worth around US$1 billion.
Caledonia was officially announced as the major benefactor of Perelman’s stake on Monday, acquiring the shares at a price of US$28.00 per share. Shares in Scientific Games were priced at US$18.97 at market open on Monday before jumping almost 40% following news of the deal to US$26.43 at close.
Perelman, listed as the 79th wealthiest person in the United States with a personal fortune of US$7.8 billion, revealed in July that he was exploring opportunities to offload his entire 39% stake in Scientific Games, held by his wholly-owned investment vehicle MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Ltd.
The new ownership structure will see all three MacAndrews & Forbes representatives – including Chairman Perelman as well as Barry Schwartz and Frances Townsend – step down from the Scientific Games board.
They will be replaced by former Aristocrat CEO Jamie Odell, who will become Scientific Games’ Executive Chairman, and former Aristocrat CFO Toni Korsanos as new Executive Vice Chairman.
“Scientific Games is well-positioned for future success given our industry leading portfolio of products and technologies, loyal customer base and talented leadership team,” said President and CEO of Scientific Games, Barry Cottle.
“We are pleased to have the support of our refreshed Board and new investor base as we continue to execute on our strategy to drive meaningful long-term growth and shareholder value creation.”
Founded in Sydney in 1982, Caledonia already owns a 10.4% stake in Flutter Entertainment – the UK gaming giant that owns Paddy Power and Sky Bet and which recently completed a US$12 billion merger with The Stars Group, operator of online poker site PokerStars.
It also holds sizeable stakes in Warner Music and US digital real estate firm Zillow among others.