Light & Wonder, the group that recently rebranded from Scientific Games, has completed the sale of its lottery business to private equity company Brookfield Business Partners.
The deal, which was agreed in October last year, was worth $5.8bn (£4.4bn/€5.3bn) in gross cash proceeds and approximately $5.0bn in net after-tax cash proceeds.
Light & Wonder said the sale marks a major milestone in transforming the business and its balance sheet, while it will also on one of the key pledges the group made as part of its strategic review.
Net proceeds from the sale will be used to execute what the group described as a “balanced and opportunistic” approach to capital allocation.
This will include pursuing debt reduction to a target net debt leverage ratio range of 2.5x to 3.5x, with the aim of paying down approximately $5.0bn in existing debt.
Proceeds will also be used to support share buybacks with the idea of returning “substantial capital” to shareholders now and in the future, as well as for investment in other growth opportunities.
“The lottery business sale closing is a significant step towards streamlining our portfolio and strengthening our balance sheet as we execute on our strategy to transform our business with a singular focus on building great games and franchises to entertain our players wherever and whenever they want to play,” Light & Wonder chief executive Barry Cottle said.
“With the completion of the lottery business sale and the upcoming sale of our sports betting business, we are moving rapidly as we execute on our vision to be a leading cross-platform global game provider and unlock the full potential of Light & Wonder.
“This also positions the lottery business for success as a standalone company completely focused on innovating for its global lottery customers.”
The rebrand to Light & Wonder last month came alongside the lottery business sale as the group sought to reflect its shift to a focus on gaming services. The lottery business will maintain the Scientific Games name.
Also last month, Light & Wonder revealed it was able to return to a net profit of $371m during its 2021 financial year after revenue increased 26.7% year-on-year.
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