Global gaming giant Scientific Games is said to be looking into an initial public offering in Australia and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in a bid to raise funds and pay down debt.
According to a report by the Australian Financial Review, Scientific Games has called in Sydney-based investment bank Jarden Australia to investigate the pros and cons of an ASX-listing as one option to address debts of around US$9.43 billion.
Such a listing is seen as particularly attractive given that the stocks of industry peers like Aristocrat are currently trading at record highs.
Although Scientific Games is reportedly looking at a range of options to raise funds, an ASX-listing may also be attractive due to the company’s strong Australian links. Those links include last year’s sale of the 34.9% stake previously held by US billionaire Ronald Perelman to a group of long-term institutional investors led by Australian fund manager Caledonia (Private) Investments in a deal worth around US$1 billion. Caledonia accounts for around 9.8% of that acquired interest.
The sale of Perelman’s entire stake and his subsequent departure from the Board of Directors also led to the appointment of former Aristocrat CEO Jamie Odell and CFO Toni Korsanos, both Australians, as Scientific Games’ new Executive Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman respectively.
The AFR report noted that Scientific Games is carrying debt of $US9.43 billion while boasting a $US19.93 billion enterprise value and $US5.39 billion market capitalization.
“Any funds raised at an Australian IPO would be expected to help repay some of that debt,” it said.