Scientific Games getting new board leadership after stock sell

  • McAndrews & Forbes has sold off its stake in Scientific Games, necessitating a reshuffle within the board of directors.
  • A July filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that McAndrews & Forbes was exploring the sale of its common stock in Scientific Games.
  • McAndrews & Forbes Chairman and CEO Ronald Perelman is resigning as executive chairman of Scientific Games’ board.
  • Joining the board as executive chairman and executive vice-chair are former Aristocrat CEO Jamie Odell and former Aristocrat Chief Financial Officer Toni Korsano, respectively.

The largest shareholder in Scientific Games has sold off its stake in the company at $28 per share, necessitating a shakeup within the board of directors.

McAndrews & Forbes Inc. was selling a 34.9% stake in Scientific Games

The company’s shares rose nearly 40% on Monday after it disclosed that holding company McAndrews & Forbes Inc. was selling a 34.9% stake in Scientific Games to some long-term institutional investors at $28 per share, ahead of Friday’s closing price of $18.97.

This was an anticipated move because a July filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that McAndrews & Forbes (whose sole owner is billionaire investor and Scientific Games executive chairman Ronald Perelman) was exploring the sale of its common stock in the company.

ScientificGames said it was implementing several changes and enhancements in its governance, one of them being the reshuffling of its board of directors. The Las Vegas-based slot manufacturing company plans to do this to reflect its fresh investor base and to continue positioning itself for growth and the creation of value.

McAndrews & Forbes Chairman and CEO Perelman is resigning as executive chairman of Scientific Games’ board. Also resigning are McAndrews & Forbes representatives Frances Townsend and Barry Schwartz.

Former Aristocrat CEO Jamie Odell and former Aristocrat Chief Financial Officer Toni Korsano will join the board as executive chair and executive vice chair, respectively. The two are currently the board’s senior advisors. They work with CEO Barry Cottle on the growth strategies of the company.

Odell headed Aristocrat from 2009-2017, at which time the company’s market capitalization shot up from $1.3 billion to $7.5 billion.

Credit goes to Odell and Korsanos for turning Aristocrat into the best of breed competitor today, according to Trust gaming analyst Barry Jonas.

The current Board advisors have played a role in helping the strategy of Cottle

Jonas thinks the current Board advisors have played a role in helping the strategy of Cottle and views the changes in board and ownership positively.

Similarly, Stifel analyst Brad Boyer views the new directors as an important initial step and anticipates extra high-profile board appointments. Also, he believes the restructuring of the company’s C-suite leaders could happen soon.

The transaction is expected to close over the next several weeks, with no single investor after that expected to beneficially own more than 9.9% of Scientific Games’ shares.

Odell said he was excited to join the board “at such an important time” for the company and the gaming industry. He is planning to embark on quickly deleveraging the Scientific Games’ balance sheet and creating an adaptable and agile company, ready to capitalize on evolving trends and deliver ROI.

I'm Adam Shaw, Senior Editor and one of the first members at VegasSlots. I'm a massive football sports fan but also love casinos and occasional trips to Las Vegas. Gaming runs in the family

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