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Light & Wonder approved for $1.00bn share repurchase programme

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Light & Wonder is to proceed with a new, three-year share repurchase programme for up to $1.00bn (£784.9m/€931.9m) in outstanding common stock.

The repurchase programme is effective immediately and runs through until June 2027. This has been approved by the Light & Wonder board.

Light & Wonder’s existing programme to repurchase up to $750.0m of common shares was set to expire in February 2025. However, the new programme will extend this and allow the group to repurchase more stock.

As of yesterday (13 June), Light & Wonder had exhausted the full $750.0m share repurchase authorisation. Through this it purchased 11.2 million common shares, or 11.5% of all shares outstanding at the inception of the programme. 

The average purchase price of $66.72 per share represents a 28% discount to the closing price of $92.35 on 13 June.

Programme to support Light & Wonder growth strategy

Light & Wonder CEO Matt Wilson welcome the board’s approval for the scheme. He said the repurchase programme will further support the group’s wider growth strategy.

“I am pleased to announce that the board has approved a new, upsized share repurchase programme,” Wilson said. “We continue to successfully execute our growth strategy and return meaningful capital to our shareholders. 

“With strong operating performance continuing across the business, we remain on track to achieve our $1.40bn consolidated AEBITDA target for 2025 while continuing to invest for the future.”

Chief financial officer Oliver Chow also supports the scheme. He says: “Our prior programme was an effective value creation tool. Moving forward, the new programme will allow us to deliver further value to our shareholders while underscoring our commitment to driving profitable growth and upside beyond 2025.”

Revenue tops $756m in Q1

The programme launch follows a successful Q1 for Light & Wonder, during which revenue increased by 12.8% to $756m. It was also the 12th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth for the group.

Revenue during the three months to 31 March was higher across the Gaming, SciPlay and iGaming businesses. As a result, Light & Wonder also reported higher group net profit for Q1, with this jumping 272.7% to $82m.

In addition, adjusted EBITDA climbed 12.9% to $281m, driven by strong revenue growth and sustained margin strength across all segments.

Also in Q1, Light & Wonder made a strategic investment in no-code automation platform Flows. This, the group says, will help accelerate growth and scale up operations in markets worldwide. 

The purchase raised questions about further deals for the group. CEO Wilson says while the business continues to monitor the market for opportunities, nothing is immediately in the offing.

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