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Light & Wonder acquires remaining SciPlay shares

| By Richard Mulligan
Light & Wonder (L&W) has completed its previously announced acquisition of the remaining shares in SciPlay Corporation.

The acquisition of the outstanding stock, which amounted to 17% of the business, means L&W now has complete control over the social gaming division that it spun off – when still known as Scientific Games – in 2019.

L&W said the remaining equity was purchased for $22.95 per share in cash. This was slightly higher than the $20 estimated when the deal was announced earlier this year. The acquisition is worth more than US$420m (£331m/€385m) in total.

SciPlay will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Light & Wonder. SciPlay common stock will no longer be publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

“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,” said Matt Wilson, L&W’s president and chief executive.

“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.”

Revenue records

Both businesses posted all-time revenue records in both Q1 and then Q2 of 2023. SciPlay’s revenue reached $190m in the three months to 30 June 2023, which was up 18.8% year-on-year. L&W put this down to the core social casino business, which delivered strong payer metrics and outpaced the market.

Group revenue for the three months was $731m, up 19.8% year-on-year.

L&W, when still known as Scientific Games, abandoned plans to acquire the remaining 19% of SciPlay in January 2022. It said “this opportunity would not be prudent for our shareholders at this time”.

L&W sold its lottery business to private equity company Brookfield Business Partners in April 2022 in a deal worth $5.8bn. In August 2022, the business also completed the sale of its OpenBet sports betting platform to Endeavor.

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