Ron Perelman to sell 39% stake in Scientific Games after COVID impact

By Owain Flanders

According to reports from Financial Times and a company press release, majority Scientific Games shareholder and chairman, Ron Perelman, has agreed to sell his holdings in the company.

The billionaire runs MacAndrews and Forbes, a New York-based investment firm, and has been looking for options to sell some of his investments as a result of the impact of COVID-19. The personal fortune of 77-old Perelman has fallen by more than half since 2018 to around $8bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Gambling Insider previously reported Perelman had been considering the sale of his 39% stake in the company. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year showed Perelman was exploring the sale of over 36.8 million shares in Scientific Games.

Perelman has valued the gaming company at around $2bn. He will sell 34.9% of his stake in the company to Australian fund Caledonia.

In a press release, Scientific Games has confirmed the sale which will also see changes to the company's Board. Jamie Odell, former CEO of Aristocrat, and Toni Korsanos, former CFO of Aristocrat, will become the supplier's new executive chair and executive vice chair, respectively.

Commenting on the sale, Barry Cottle, president and CEO of Scientiifc Games, said: “Scientific Games is well-positioned for future success given our industry leading portfolio of products and technologies, loyal customer base and talented leadership team.

"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.”

Scientific Games saw a $198m net loss for Q2 2020, a significant increase from losses of $75m for the same period last year.

Group revenue totalled $539m, a 36% drop year-on-year. However, online gaming revenue saw a sharp increase of 135% in the US in comparison to 2019.

In June, the supplier announced plans to offer private note worth $550m in an effort to boost liquidity.

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